54 Interesting Facts About Iraq

Last updated on April 13th, 2019

Did you know?

27. Iraq’s oil reserves (approx – 150 billion barrels) are the fifth largest in the world. Venezuela tops the charts with 298 billion barrels of oil.

28. Shiite Muslims are in dominance in Iraq.

29. Islamic traditions relate that Noah’s ark was built in the city of Kufa, which is in Iraq. The ark was built by prophet Nuh/Noah (P.B.U.H).

30. A rare phenomenon that brought rain and hail storms caused a river of frozen water that streamed through the desert of Iraq.

31. The Constitution of Iraq is Iraq’s fundamental law.

32. Baghdad served as the center of learning during the Islamic Golden Age, and was also the largest multicultural city of the middle ages.

33. The country’s first productive oil well was drilled in 1927 in Baba dome.

34. Iraqi women are twice as illiterate as men in the country.

Facts about the Iraq War

35. The Iraq war started on March 20th, 2003.

36. The invasion was supported by a coalition of 35 countries with the U.S., Great Britain and Australia playing major roles.

37. Initially, several precision bombs were dropped on the bunkers where Saddam Hussein was believed to be conducting meetings with senior staff.

38. On April 4th, U.S. forces took control of Baghdad’s International airport.

39. After much resistance and confrontation by Iraq, U.S. forces took control of Baghdad on April 9th.

40. By early 2007, at least 3000 troops from the U.S. and several hundred soldiers from other coalition countries were killed.

41. The Iraq war is also called the Second Persian Gulf War.

42. An estimated 151,000 to 600,000 Iraqis were killed during the first three to four years of the war.

43. Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces in December, 2003. The operation was named “Operation Red Dawn.”

U.S. army during Iraq war
U.S. Army Soldiers from the 20th Engineer Brigade shuttle trucks across the Euphrates River Nov. 16, 2007, in support a combat operation near Baghdad, Iraq. Image credit – Spc. Luke Thornberry

44. By December 2011, there were no U.S. troops in Iraq.

45. During the beginning of the Iraq War, the majority of Iraqi troops simply chose not to resist the advancement of the coalition forces. However, “Saddam’s Fidayeen” posed the greatest resistance to U.S. forces.

46. President Bush’s claim before going to war was that Iraq was making weapons of mass destruction, which could jeopardize the world’s safety. However, no such evidence of manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction was found in Iraq. Thus, the president’s claim became a major political debating point in the U.S. in 2004.

Related: Interesting facts about Turkey

Culture of Iraq

47. Based on Arabic poetry, ‘maqam’ is the traditional music of Iraq.

48. In Iraq, eating with the left hand is considered to be offensive.

49. Almost half of all married couples in Iraq are first or second cousins.

50. ‘Reading of fortunes in the constellations’ and ‘the fear of black cats’ were all invented in Iraq, as per archaeologist Leonard Woolley.

51. Production of honey and its trade is a major industry in Iraq. Honey is known as a miracle cure in the country, and has the ability to treat headaches, arthritis and many other ailments. Multiple wars suffered by the country had a negative effect on this industry.

52. Iraq is among the top three date-producing countries in the world. Remember: essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc are found in dates.

53. The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia, Iraq. It is often regarded as the earliest surviving great work of literature (dating back to circa 2100 BC).

54. Iraq banned karate films in 1979. Isn’t that a strange law?

Iraq – country at a glance

Independence3 October 1932 (from Britain)
Table last updatedMay 26, 2019
Capital CityBaghdad
(33°20′N 44°26′E)
Largest CityBaghdad
(33°20′N 44°26′E)
Total area438,317 sq km
Population40,194,216 (July 2018 est.)
Literacytotal population: 79.7%
DemonymIraqi
Official LanguageArabic & Kurdish
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
BordersTotal = 3,809 km. Iran 1,599 km, Jordan 179 km, Kuwait 254 km, Saudi Arabia 811 km, Syria 599 km, Turkey 367 km
CurrencyIraqi dinar (IQD)
Government typefederal parliamentary republic
PresidentBarham Salih
Prime MinisterAdil Abdul-Mahdi
ReligionIslam
Life expectancy at birth74.9 years (2018)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Terrainmostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey
Mean elevation312 m
Lowest pointPersian Gulf 0 m
Highest pointCheekha Dar (Kurdish for "Black Tent") 3,611 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur
Agricultural land18.1%
Birth rate30 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate3.8 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Sex ratio1.02 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
National symbolgolden eagle
National colorsred, white, black
National anthem"Mawtini" (My Homeland)
Industriespetroleum, chemicals, textiles, leather, construction materials, food processing, fertilizer, metal fabrication/processing
Exports$61.4 billion (2017 est.)
crude oil 99%, crude materials excluding fuels, food, live animals
Imports$39.47 billion (2017 est.)
food, medicine, manufactures
GDP - per capita (PPP)$16,700 (2017 est.)
Time ZoneArabia Standard Time (UTC+3)
Internet country code.iq
Calling Code+964
Drives on theRight
Data sources1. Central Intelligence Agency
2. Wikipedia.org