Flag of Iraq
Iraq is a country in the Middle East. A republic, Iraq is ruled by a President and a Prime Minister; it has sharia law, and it is an Islamic republic with minorities of Assyrians and Yazidis. The modern Republic of Iraq was founded in 2003 after Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist Iraq regime was toppled following 35 years of having absolute rule over Iraq, and Iraq has been assisted by the United States and NATO in fighting against terrorism and sectarian violence between the Shi'ite majority and Sunni minority. Ever since the fall of Ba'athist Iraq, the government has been run by Shi'ites and Kurds, being increasingly sectarian. This led to perpetual warfare between Sunnis and Shi'ites, Arabs and Kurds as they struggled over control of Iraq in the Iraq War of 2003-2011 and Iraqi Civil War of 2011-present.


Location of Iraq

The location of Iraq

The present-day Republic of Iraq was founded on 15 October 2005 when it adopted a new constitution following two years of MNF-I occupation. The United States, United Kingdom, and other NATO allies invaded Iraq in 2003 and deposed Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi Ba'ath Party, and Jalal Talabani served as the President of Iraq from 2005 to 2013. Talabani and his successor Fuad Masum were both Kurds, and almost all of the other members of the government were fellow Kurds or members of the Shia majority, which had been oppressed under Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi government was almost entirely non-Sunni, leading to the Iraq War turning from a war of resistance by the Ba'ath Party nationalists against the occupying MNF-I into a Sunni-Shia civil war that saw Shi'ites funded by Iran and Sunnis led by radical clerics both fight against the occupying forces in addition to each other. The Iraqi Army was trained by the USA, but they were unable to win a battle without US support. President Barack Obama wanted to withdraw from Iraq by 2011 as other countries announced their withdrawal from the country, and by December 2011, all US forces had left the country. The government fought in some skirmishes with the insurgents until 2014, when the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group launched a massive offensive in northern Iraq. They captured the major cities of Mosul, Tikrit, Hit, and Fallujah, and the government was forced back. Eventually, they had to rely on Shi'ite Popular Mobilization Forces and some Kurdish forces for fighting against the ISIS insurgents, who declared themselves the "Islamic State", a new caliphate. The Iraqi government's forces dropped their weapons and dropped their army uniforms so that they could retreat, allowing for the Islamic State to capture US-made weapons, including a drone, firearms, and some APCs and tanks. The Islamic State fought against the government, which slowly retook land with the help of the USA and some other US allies, who limited their combat role to airstrikes, training, and supplies. The Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was forced to resign in September 2014, giving Iraq a chance of being able to reconcile with the Sunni tribes (many of whom supported ISIS due to the Shi'ite government oppressing them). However, the Iraqi Civil War was still very costly in the following years.

Culture and demographics

In July 2014, Iraq had a population of 32,585,692, with 75% being Arabs, 20% being Kurds, and the last 5% being Assyrians, Persians, Turkmen, and other minority groups. 42% of the population was Sunni Muslim, 51% Shia Muslim, 5% nondenominational Muslim, .8% Christian, and less than 1% Yazidis, Mandaeists, Yarsan, and other religious groups.