Iraq Area Code

+964 is the dialing code for Iraq.

In fertile Mesopotamia on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, humanity’s first civilization emerged 5,000 years ago. In our time, Iraq has been ravaged by violence and death, first under the dictator Saddam Hussein, then through invasion and civil war. Saddam was overthrown in 2003 following a US-led invasion, which was followed by conflicts mainly between Sunni and Shiite groups. The Iraqi government strengthened its position when the extremist group IS, which for some years had control over parts of the country, could be defeated. But the transformation into a democratic state is fraught with adversity and Iraq is being harnessed by claims of influence from the United States and Iran.

  • Abbreviationfinder: Brief profiles of Iraq, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.

Geography and climate

Iraq Area Code

Iraq, which is about the same size as Sweden, is located in western Asia in the former two-river country of Mesopotamia. Throughout the country the rivers Euphrates and Tigris flow into the lower part of their course to Shatt al-Arab. Iraq’s only coast is a short strip to the Gulf of Persia, less than two miles long by bird path.

The rivers create a fertile north-south valley of about a quarter of the country’s territory. To the west of the capital Baghdad, the Euphrates forms three large lakes; the biggest is Thartharsjön. At the far south, the river valley is transformed into extensive swamps. The famous wetlands that the Iraqis feel like al-Ahwar have been placed on the UN organization UNESCO World Heritage List.

In the north between the rivers, the country is becoming more hilly and towards the Syrian border it turns into a high-lying steppe land, in many places almost like a desert. Iraq is mountainous in the north and northeast. The Zagros Mountains, at the border with Iran and Turkey, reach heights of over 3,000 meters.

The desert is spreading on a high plateau in the west and southwest.

Country Facts


Cultivated land 18.1 %
Land area 438317 km 2

Population and health

Population development 2.93 m
Urban population (Urbanization) 69.5 %
Death rate 3.77 per 1000 residents
Life expectancy: Women 77.19 years
Life expectancy: Men 72.62 years
Birth rate 31.45 births per 1000 residents
HDI index 0.654
Population 37056169
Infant mortality 37.49 deaths / 1000 births

Population Graph Source:


Electricity, production 62300 million kWh
Energy consumption per resident 1374.1 kg. oil per resident
Natural gas, production 1180 million cubic meters
Crude oil, production 197 million tons


Internet users 7.8 per 100 residents
Mobile subscriptions 92 per 100 residents
Passenger cars 50 per 1000 residents

Business and economics

Unemployment 16% of the workforce
GDP 15500 per resident
Primary occupations 21.5 %
Secondary profession 18.7 %
Tertiary professions 59.8 %

Iraq has a subtropical inland climate with hot summers and cold winters. Temperature peaks above 45 degrees in the shade are not uncommon in the summer. In Baghdad, the heat record is at 51 degrees, and the periods of extreme heat have increased according to meteorologists. Minus degrees occur in winters, except in the south. In the mountains in the northeast, the temperature can drop to 30 minus degrees.

In the river valley in central Iraq, the summer heat is exacerbated by extremely high humidity due to all the stagnant water in rivers, canals and swamps. The rainfall is scarce throughout the country, except in the northeast where it can fall 400-600 mm per year. About 90 percent of the annual rainfall in the country falls during the period November to April.

During the dry summer months it often blows hard and persistently. Violent sandstorms occur.


438,446 km2 (2018)


Swedish +2 hours

Adjacent country (s)

Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey

Capital with number of residents

Baghdad 6 million

Other major cities

Mosul, Erbil (also Arbil, Irbil), Basra, Sulaymaniyya, Najaf

Highest mountain

Rawanduz (3,658 m asl)

Important rivers

Euphrates, Tigris, Shatt al-Arab



Explosions in the marketplace

December 31st

At least 27 people are killed in two explosions at a marketplace in Baghdad.

New start for Mosul offensive

December 29

After a few weeks of relative silence in the fighting around Mosul, the army says it has initiated the “second phase” of the offensive against IS forces in the city. Various elite associations are reported to try to move towards the center along several fronts.

Car bombs against Mosul market

December 22

At least 15 civilians and eight police officers are killed when three car bombs are detonated in a marketplace in a suburb of Mosul. IS claims to have been behind the attacks. The area had been taken back by the Iraqi army at the beginning of the offensive against the Islamists.

100,000 flee from Mosul

December 18

The IOM organization says that more than 100,000 people were displaced by the fighting in and around Mosul, which lasted for two months.


Half a million Mosul residents without water

November 30

After already suffering a huge shortage of food and electricity, about half a million residents in Mosul also become without running water after the pipes were damaged in the fighting, says the UN.

“Half East Mosul intake”

November 28

Commander of the Iraqi Army Elite Federation says IS has been driven out of about half the eastern part of the city, on the east side of the Tigris River. Nearly a thousand Islamists have been killed, the commanders claim, but they say nothing about their own losses. The advancement through the city is being hampered by the tactics of the Islamists to retreat, move and quickly strike new places.

Shiamilis becomes official

November 26th

Parliament adopts a law that gives the umbrella organization of the Shia Muslim militias Hashid al-Shaabi an official military unit. Shiamis have often been criticized for abusing Sunnis in areas withdrawn from IS and the vote in Parliament was boycotted by Sunni members.

Terrorist acts against pilgrims

November 24

About 100 people are killed when a truck full of explosives explodes at a gas station with a restaurant in Hilla ten miles south of Baghdad. Most of the victims are Iranian Shiites who have stopped at the restaurant on their way home from a religious celebration in Karbala. Five buses with pilgrims ignited by the explosion. IS takes on the attack.

IS completely surrounded in Mosul

November 24

The Iraqi government forces and their allies say they have completely surrounded Mosul and cut off IS’s last possible supply line. The Shiite militias and Kurdish peshmerga state that they have agreed to coordinate their continuing operations.

68,000 have moved from Mosul

November 22

Since the Iraqi army offensive against Mosul began on October 17, more than 68,000 civilians have fled the city and its immediate vicinity, the UN said. It is significantly fewer than expected.

“Mass murder of police officers”

November 16

HRW says IS has killed more than 300 police officers and placed them in a mass grave outside Mosul. The tomb is to be found near the village of Hammam al-Alil about three miles southeast of Mosul. According to HRW, villagers say that the terrorists in IS forced a few thousand civilians when they returned to the big city on November 7.

HRW criticism against Kurds

November 13

The human rights organization HRW accuses the Kurdish military forces of destroying Arab homes and in some cases entire villages in two provinces in the north that both the Kurds and the Baghdad government claim. According to HRW, the Kurds’ attempts to strengthen the grip on parts of the provinces of Kirkuk and Nineve continued between September 2014 and May 2016.

The army returns Nimrud

November 13

The Iraqi army says it has taken back the city of Nimrud, south of Mosul, which was conquered by IS in 2014. Adjacent to the modern city is the ruins of an ancient Assyrian city that has largely been torn apart by IS.

UN: IS kills at least 60 civilians

November 11

According to the UN, within two days, IS has killed at least 60 civilians inside Mosul accused of contacts with the army.

Two cities near Mosul are taken

November 7

Iraqi government forces and allied militia occupy the IS-controlled city of Hamam al-Alli 15 kilometers south of Mosul, while Kurdish peshmerga moves into Bashiqa, just northeast of Mosul. In both cases, iS is reported to try to slow the advance with the help of suicide attacks, pre-demolitions and snipers, but both the army and the Kurdish militia say they have taken full control of the cities. According to the UN, IS forces around 1,500 families when they retire from Hamam al-Alli to central Mosul.

IS takes on suicide

November 6

Two suicide attacks in Tikrit and Samarra have killed at least 25 people and injured at least 58. In Samarra, Iranian pilgrims are among the victims. IS claims to have carried out both attacks.

IS ordered to fight to the end

November 3

In a first statement since the army offensive against Mosul began, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi urges his forces not to retreat and fight to the end. In the message, provided it is genuine, he calls on IS to attack Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which the extremist movement designates as defunct from the true Sunni faith.

The army enters Mosul

November 1st

Iraqi ground forces enter the southeastern part of Mosul on November 1, while the city is bombarded by artillery and air strikes. Soldiers from an elite force are reported to have taken control of the state television building.


Shiite front at Mosul

October 29th

Hashed al-Shaabi, an umbrella organization for mainly Shiite militia, opens a new front against IS outside Mosul. The intention is to return the city of Tal-Afar and thereby cut off the Islamic State’s supply route between Mosul and Raqqa in Syria. The Turkish government has repeatedly opposed the Shiites’ participation in the offensive against Mosul, and President Erdoğan warns in threatening terms the Shi’a Muslims for the consequences if Turkmen in Tal-Afar would be harmed.

Alarms about IS massacres and kidnappings

October 28

The UN Human Rights Office says there are credible reports that IS has removed tens of thousands of civilians from Mosul’s suburbs to use them as “human shields” inside the city. The extremist movement is also reported to have killed 256 people for two days who refused to obey orders. The US-led alliance claims that at least 800 IS fighters have been killed in Mosul since the offensive began. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov appeals for cooperation to prevent jihadists from IS fleeing from Mosul to cross into Syria.

EU price to Yazidis

October 27th

The European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize is awarded to Yazid activists Nadia Murad and Lamia Bashar. Both were abducted by IS when their village in northern Iraq was occupied by the extremist movement in 2014 and used as slaves but managed to escape. They have since worked for the rights of women and minorities in the country.

Collective punishment concerns the UN

October 25th

The UN expresses concern that Kurdish authorities have ordered 250 Sunni Arab families to leave Kirkuk following the IS attack on the city. UN Humanitarian Affairs Coordinator in Iraq, Lise Grande, says there is no evidence that these Sunni families have helped the “sleeping” IS cells in the city and that the local authorities seem to resort to clean sweeping reasons to get away arabs. She regards the expulsion as a collective punishment.

Hardest bombing against IS

October 24th

The US-led alliance says it never exposed IS in Iraq to such intense bombings as during the offensive against Mosul. After a week’s offensive, the Iraqi and Kurdish forces say they have taken control of about 80 small towns and villages held by IS around Mosul. However, the advance towards the big city is made more difficult by suicide bombers, snipers, pomegranates and pre-demolitions.

Alcohol is prohibited

22 October

Parliament votes for a law prohibiting the importation, manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages; The penalty for violation of the law will be high fines. Those behind the law say that it complies with the Constitution’s provision that no laws may conflict with the rules of Islam, those who oppose it believe it violates the Constitution’s guarantees for religious minority traditions. The law will be appealed to a federal court.

IS strikes back

21 October

IS attacks the Kirkuk oil city on several fronts and takes up police stations and public buildings, among other things. The attack is interpreted as an attempt to divert attention from the battles surrounding Mosul and is believed to be aimed at creating chaos and terror rather than reaching new political goals or expanding IS territory. Only after three days of fighting do the authorities in the ethnically mixed but Kurdish-controlled city say that the attack has been fought and that at least 74 extremists have been killed and several arrested. Dozens of people among the defenders of the city are also believed to have been killed. So-called sleeping terror cells inside the city have been instrumental in carrying out the attack. Even in the west, near the Jordanian border, IS engages in a diverting attack on the city of Rutba. At least five people are killed by IS after being captured.

“Unexpected fast forward”

October 20

Prime Minister al-Abadi says that the advance against Mosul has so far gone faster than expected. He stated via a video link to an international conference in Paris on the future of Mosul, which is jointly organized by Iraq and France.

Civilians are flying

October 19

During the start of the Battle of Mosul, thousands of civilians flee the area around the city. According to Save the Children, around 5,000 have crossed the border into Syria for over a week. The UN and other relief organizations are building refugee camps around Mosul in anticipation of the expected refugee stream. The Russian military leadership expresses concern that IS extremists will be able to move to Syria to further aggravate the situation there.

Offensive against Mosul begins

October 17

Iraqi forces launch the expected offensive against Mosul to withdraw the city from IS. About 30,000 soldiers participate in the offensive with both air and ground support from the US-led alliance. In addition, some 4,000 Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers are participating, who already claim to have taken several villages east of Mosul on the first day of the offensive. The Turkish government says around 3,000 Turkish soldiers will also take part in the offensive. US Defense Headquarters The Pentagon describes the operation as a crucial moment in the fight against IS but warns that the fighting may continue for many weeks. The US estimates that IS has between 3,000 and 4,500 people in and around Mosul, but they have had a long time to prepare for the resistance and are believed to have placed mines, dug tunnels and placed snipers in hidden places. The Turkish authorities say they are ready to receive hundreds of thousands of refugees from Mosul. The UN has long feared that the offensive will trigger a new mass escape.

Leaflets over Mosul

October 16

Iraqi flight releases flyers across Mosul where the population is informed that an attack on the city is imminent and is urged to avoid places where members of IS usually reside.

IS crushes revolt

October 14

Residents of Mosul say to the Reuters news agency that an IS commander was trying to wreak havoc on the extremist movement’s local leadership with the intention of switching sides and helping the Iraqi government recapture the city. According to the sources, 58 suspected revolvers were executed by being drowned and then buried in a swamp area on the outskirts of Mosul.

The tone is sharpened against Turkey

October 13

The Foreign Ministry is calling on Turkey’s ambassador to submit a formal protest against the continued presence of Turkish soldiers on Iraqi soil. The protest is also aimed at “insulting statements” by the Turkish leaders. The United States has indirectly taken a stand for Iraq by saying that foreign forces in the country should be there “with the agreement of the Iraqi government and in coordination with it”. According to the Iraqi government, Sunni Muslim Turkey’s demand to take part in the planned offensive risks disrupting the delicate balance between the country’s Sunni and Shiite militias. There is also concern in Baghdad that Turkish President Erdoğan recently questioned the 1923 Lausanne Treaty, when today’s borders were set. Both Mosul and Kirkuk were part of the Ottoman Empire that preceded the Turkish Republic.

Turkish outcome against al-Abadi

October 11

Turkish President Erdoğan describes al-Abadi’s criticism of the Turkish troops presence as “a personal insult”. Referring to the Iraqi prime minister, he says “You are not on my level. It does not matter how much you scream from Iraq, we still do as we please. Who are you? Iraqi Prime Minister. You should know your place.”

HD runs over al-Abadi

October 10

The Supreme Court rejects Prime Minister al-Abadi’s decision to abolish the three posts as vice presidents (see August 2015). The court says that because the constitution says there should be three vice presidents, the government cannot abolish them.

Protest against Turkey

October 4th

Condemns a decision by Turkey to retain military troops on Iraqi soil for another year; Turkey has around 2,000 soldiers in various parts of northern Iraq, against the Iraqi authorities’ consent. Prime Minister al-Abadi says that if Turkey continues to interfere in Iraq’s affairs, it could eventually trigger a regional war. The Turkish government responds that it has no intention of calling the soldiers home and describes the Iraqi criticism as “dangerous and provocative”.

Directed radio broadcasts to Mosul

October 4th

A new radio station launches broadcasts aimed directly at the residents of Mosul. The broadcasts will keep city residents informed of how best to stay safe during the upcoming army offensive against IS, which is occupying Mosul. The transmitter is located in Qayyara, six miles south of Mosul.


The Minister of Finance is dismissed.

September 21

Parliament votes to dismiss Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari, who is accused of corruption. Zebari has been Minister of Finance since 2014 and was before its Foreign Minister for several years.

“All ready to go against Mosul”

September 9th

The government in autonomous Kurdistan says the military plans to take back Mosul are clear and that it may be possible to expel IS from the city even before the end of the year. President Barzani says that the Kurdish peshmerga, the Iraqi army and US-led flights will carry out the offensive but that it is not decided what role the government-led Iraqi militias will play. US Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, who leads US efforts against IS, says he expects the offensive to start at the beginning of October.


The Minister of Defense is dismissed

August 25th

Parliament votes to dismiss Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi. He is accused of corruption in connection with arms purchases to the army. The provision is seen as part of a power struggle between him and Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri. The decision means that the Shiite Prime Minister al-Abadi will lose one of his closest Sunni allies.

UN warns of mass escape from Mosul

August 23rd

UN Refugee Agency UNHCR warns that the expected government offensive against Mosul could drive more than a million city dwellers on the run. According to a spokesman, there is still no money or space to take care of so many new refugees

36 jihadists are hanged

21th of August

In a prison in the city of Nasiriyah, 36 Sunni Jihadists are executed for participating in a massacre of up to 1,700 military recruits who were fleeing from a military base outside Tikrit in 2014, when the Islamic State made a rapid advance south through the country. Most of the victims were Shia Muslims from southern Iraq. A spokesman for the UN says that the accused men were not entitled to defense lawyers and that the executions appear to have been carried out by “revenge cravings”.

Five ministers are approved

August 15th

Parliament approves five of the ministers nominated by Prime Minister al-Abadi. Iraq is thus taking a step towards an end to the long government crisis.

The most powerful bomb killed 323

1 August

Authorities write the death toll for the bombing attack in Baghdad on July 3 to 323 people. Two-thirds of the victims could only be identified using DNA analysis, the Minister of Health said. It was one of the bloodiest attacks of all time in Iraq.


The United States is strengthening

July 11

The United States decides to send an additional 560 soldiers, including military advisers, to help the Iraqi defense force prepare and implement a readmission to Mosul.

Air base is captured from IS

July 9

Prime Minister al-Abadi says Iraqi government forces have returned an important air base five miles south of Mosul held by IS. According to al-Abadi, the Qayyarah air base now has a key function in efforts to recapture Mosul as well.

New attack, security officers fired

July 7

In a new terrorist attack against a Shiite mosque in Balad north of Baghdad, at least 37 people are killed and more than 62 injured. IS takes on the attack that starts with grenades being fired at the mosque area. In the turmoil that ensues, three terrorists trigger explosive charges outside the mosque. Hours after the deed, Prime Minister al-Abadi dismisses three of the top security officials in the Baghdad area.

Harsh British criticism of the 2003 war

July 6

After seven years of work, the British government’s investigation into harsh criticism of the country’s then leader, in particular Prime Minister Tony Blair, addresses how the invasion of Iraq was conducted in 2003. with peaceful means had been exhausted. The government based its decision on incorrect intelligence tasks and the preparations were “completely inadequate”. Already eight months earlier, Blair must have assured US President George W Bush that “I am on your side in all weathers.”

The Minister of the Interior resigns after an attack

July 5

Interior Minister Mohammed al-Ghabbani resigns as a result of the harsh criticism of the authorities following the bomb attack in Baghdad on the night of July 3.

Worst attack in years in Baghdad

July 3

At least 292 people are killed and a few hundred injured when a truck full of explosives explodes in a densely populated area in central Baghdad. The attack happens in the middle of the night when the streets are filled with people who are out to break today’s fast during the holy month of Ramadan. The Islamic State claims to have done the deed. Prime Minister al-Abadi encounters tangible protests when he visits the area later that night. Many people object to the government’s inability to protect them. The government announces three days of national grief after the attack, which is the worst in the capital so far in several years.


Severe IS losses

June 29

Iraqi and US sources say IS suffered major losses in air strikes against a vehicle column that was on its way from al-Fallujah. The information varies between 40 and over 200 destroyed vehicles as well as between 150 and more than 250 killed IS members.

Court annuls parliamentary decision

June 28

A court annulled the parliamentary meetings in April when the President was first resigned and then some proposed new ministers were approved. According to the court, too few members were present when the President was cast. A few weeks later, when Parliament approved some of Prime Minister al-Abadi’s proposed new ministers, it was, according to the court, in an atmosphere contrary to freedom of expression, as guards were in the room and some members were prevented from participating.

IS completely out of al-Fallujah

June 26

The commander of the government-side forces in al-Falluja says IS has been completely expelled from the city, just over a week after the prime minister declared victory over the extremists. Around 20,000 refugees are being closely scrutinized by the army so that Islamists will not be able to hide among them.

The army retakes al-Fallujah

17th of June

Prime Minister al-Abadi proclaims victory over IS in al-Falluja after Iraqi government forces captured the central parts of the city. However, large areas are still held by IS, many streets and buildings are pre-destined and from the largest hospital the soldiers are shot by snipers. In total, more than 82,000 civilians are said to have moved the city and housed in camps.

The UN accuses IS of genocide

June 16

A UN investigation based on a large number of interviews accuses the Islamic State (IS) of committing genocide against the Yazid minority in Iraq and Syria. According to the investigators, since 2014 IS has systematically seized, killed or enslaved Yazidis for the clear purpose of wiping out their identity. According to the UN, the act meets the definition of genocide under the 1948 Genocide Convention.

Civilians flee al-Fallujah

June 12

The Norwegian Refugee Council says the Iraqi army has managed to establish a “safe corridor” out of the besieged city of al-Fallujah. 4,000 civilians have managed to get out of this way. They are among the first to escape the central parts of the city. Earlier during the siege, some 24,000 have moved out of other areas where IS does not have as strong control.


Offensive against al-Fallujah

May 23

Iraqi forces go on strike against al-Fallujah to take the city back from IS. The civilian population of the city is urged to leave.

Four attacks kill nearly 80

May 17

Nearly 80 people are believed to have been killed when four explosive charges are detonated in various parts of Baghdad. Three of the attacks are aimed at Shiite-dominated neighborhoods, while the fourth is carried out in a religiously mixed area.

The worst attack of the year in Baghdad

May 11

A car bomb in the Shiite-dominated Sadr city of Baghdad is said to have killed at least 64 people. More than 80 are injured. It is the bloodiest attack to date in Baghdad in 2016. Shortly thereafter, a total of at least 30 people are killed in two similar attacks in other parts of Baghdad. As with most previous similar assaults, IS takes on the blame.


Calling for new protests

April 20

Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr calls for new protests against Parliament’s inability to agree on a new government. He also appeals to the UN and the Islamic Cooperation Organization OIC to intervene.

Parliament paralyzed

April 19

President al-Juburi refuses to consider himself dismissed, pointing out that Parliament was not decisive at the time of the vote on him. After several more days of chaotic scenes in the congregation, he decides to temporarily suspend the session. His opponents say they intend to continue the work under the leadership of Adnan al-Janabi, who they believe has elected a new president.

The President deposed

April 14

The political crisis deepens when a majority of the current MEPs vote to dismiss President Salim al-Juburi and his replacement. The action is seen as a blow to al-Abadi, as the President is considered to be close to the prime minister. It is not clear whether enough members were present for the vote to be legal.

Protests delay new government

April 13

The government list presented by Prime Minister al-Abadi faces opposition from certain groups in Parliament, which forces him to replace several of the proposed technocrats with representatives of strong groups.


Proposal for a new government

March 31st

Prime Minister al-Abadi presents a list of 14 new ministers and says that he wants to reduce the number of ministers from 21 to 16. The only ones proposed to keep their jobs are the defense and home ministers.

IS kills at least 60

6 March

The Islamic State (IS) is taking on a suicide attack that kills at least 60 people and injures over 70 in the city of Hilla south of Baghdad. An explosive charge is hidden in a tanker truck that explodes at a police station when entering the city.


Double assaults in Sadrstaden

February 28

Two explosive charges detonated in a marketplace in the Shiite-dominated Sadr city of Baghdad demand 73 deaths and over 100 injured.

Death sentences for massacres

February 18

A Baghdad court sentenced 40 arrested members of the Islamic State (IS) to death for participating in a massacre of Iraqi soldiers in June 2014. About 1,700 fleeing soldiers are believed to have been killed by extremists after IS took the city of Tikrit in 2014. All convicted are Iraqi nationals. Amnesty International criticizes the trial for major shortcomings and regrets that the Iraqi state has already delivered 92 death sentences during the first six weeks of the year.

Kurdish yes to offer from Baghdad

February 17th

The Kurdish regional government says yes to an offer from the central government in Baghdad to pay the salaries of civil servants in Kurdistan. In return, the Kurds promise to hand over their entire oil production to the central government. It is reported that the equivalent of more than SEK 6 billion per month to approximately 400,000 employees. But at the same time, the Kurdish government suggests that it doubts Baghdad’s ability to live up to its promise.

Kurdish protests against wage halt

February 10

In the autonomous Kurdish region, public servants are protesting that the government has decided to pay only part of their salaries. The low oil prices have led to a severe economic crisis that, according to the government, could jeopardize the war against IS. The Kurdish regional government’s budget goes back by about SEK 6 billion each month.

Italian company will repair dust

February 2

The Italian company Trevi is commissioned to repair and maintain the country’s largest dam, four miles from Mosul. The dam is in poor condition and is at risk of collapse, which could have catastrophic consequences for the big city of Mosul and large areas around it. The maintenance was further neglected by the Islamic State for a time had control of the dam in 2014. About 450 Italian soldiers are expected to protect the workers. The dam, which was inaugurated in 1984, blocks a three kilometer stretch of Tigris.


Kurds are accused of war crimes

January 19

Amnesty International reports in a report that Kurdish peshmerga forces have destroyed thousands of homes in northern Iraq that have been recaptured from the Islamic State (IS). According to Amnesty, judgments have been made to drive away Arabs or prevent Arabs from moving back to areas they previously moved from. The three provinces described by Amnesty are all outside the area where Kurdish self-rule prevails.

Nearly 19,000 died in two years

January 19

The UN says in a report that at least 18,802 people were killed and 36,245 people were injured in violence in Iraq from the beginning of 2014 to October 31, 2015. The report is based on registered cases, and according to the UN, the actual figures are probably significantly higher. During the same period, about 3.2 million Iraqis were forced to leave their homes, among them more than one million children of school age.

IS attacks Haditha

January 6

After being driven out of Ramadi IS goes to attack the city of Haditha in the province of Anbar. At least 25 Iraqi soldiers are reported to be stupa, as well as an unspecified number of IS fighters. The US-led international alliance provides air support to government forces.