Iraq is situated in the Middle East and comprises a land area of approximately 438,000 sq km, of this 437,000 sq km is land, 950 sq km water (rivers and lakes), and a coastline that covers 58km. Iraq is bordered on the north by Turkey, east by Iran, southeast by the Persian Gulf and Kuwait, on the south by Saudi Arabia, west by Jordan and the north west by Syria.
Iraq is a Republic and its capital city, Baghdad, is located in the east central part of the country.
The flag of Iraq has been in use since 1963 albeit with several different designs. The current flag design was the winner of a competition launched by the Government in 2008 and features the ‘Takbir’ – (“Allahu Akbar”, meaning God is great) written in Kufic script, with three bands of red, white and black as the background
The country is divided into three distinct zones; the desert in the west and southwest, and the plains and highlands in the northeast which rise to 3000m or more. From the earliest times Iraq was known as Mesopotamia – ‘The Land Between the Rivers’, since it embraces a large part of the alluvial plains of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The two rivers combine and form the Shat al Arab, a broad waterway which separates Iraq and Iran. The sources of the two rivers are in the Armenian Plateau. Natural hazards include dust storms, sandstorms and flooding.
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