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War in Iraq

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Information about Iraq: People | Leaders | Flag
History | Government | Geography | Economy

Geography

Area:
437,072 sq. km.; about the size of California.

Cities:
Capital--Baghdad (pop. 3.8 million 1986 est.). Other cities--Basrah, Mosul, Karkuk, As Sulaymaniyah, Irbil.

Map of Iraq

Terrain:
Mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey.

Climate:
Mostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless summers; northern mountainous regions along Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows that melt in early spring, sometimes causing extensive flooding in central and southern Iraq.

Iraq is bordered by Kuwait, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. The country slopes from mountains over 3,000 meters (10,000 ft.) above sea level along the border with Iran and Turkey to the remnants of sea-level, reedy marshes in the southeast. Much of the land is desert or wasteland.

The mountains in the northeast are an extension of the alpine system that runs eastward from the Balkans into southern Turkey, northern Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, terminating in the Himalayas.

Average temperatures range from higher than 48 degrees C (120 degrees F) in July and August to below freezing in January. Most of the rainfall occurs from December through April and averages between 10 and 18 centimeters (4-7 in.) annually. The mountainous region of northern Iraq receives appreciably more precipitation than the central or southern desert region.

Sources: The U.S. Department of State (www.state.gov) and the CIA World Factbook (www.cia.gov)

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