Mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey
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.
Culture & Language (1:31)
Muslim (official) 97% (Shia 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%
Main Sects of Islam (2:47)
An improving security environment and foreign investment are helping to spur economic activity, particularly in the energy, construction, and retail sectors.
OPEC OIL EXPORTERS (1:05)
LARGEST MIDEAST OIL EXPORTERS (:51)
THE IMPACT OF CIVIL WAR ON OIL EXPORTS (1:33)
The middle and upper classes in Iraq enjoy much better living conditions than does the lower class. Members of the lower class, mostly rural dwellers, live in reed and mud huts, generally without electricity or running water.
Republic of Iraq
US Military Presence/Support
After the Dec. 2011 departure of coalition troops, the U.S. maintained broad engagement with Iraq on diplomatic, political, economic and security issues in accordance with the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement. In 2014 however, ISIS/ISIL (Islamic State) terrorists completely undermined peace and stability in the region by forcibly taking over large territories and cities in both Iraq and Syria. ISIS continues to commit numerous human rights atrocities, including religious persecution and t