Oil fires in Iraq • Earth.com

Oil fires in Iraq continued to pour chocolate-colored smoke on August 19, 2016, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a true-color image of the region.

The capital and largest city is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups, including constitutionally recognized ArabsKurds, Turkmen, Chaldeans and Assyrians, as well as other ethnic and ethnoreligious groups like: YazidisShabakis, Armenians, Mandaeans, Circassians, Sabians and Kawliya. Around 99% of the country’s 38 million citizens are Muslims, with small minorities of ChristiansYarsansYezidis and Mandeans also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.Oil fires in Iraq

Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km (36 miles) on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert.[8] Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, historically known as Mesopotamia, is often referred to as the cradle of civilisation. It was here that mankind first began to read, write, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which “Iraq” is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the AkkadianSumerianAssyrian and Babylonian empires. It was also part of the MedianAchaemenidHellenisticParthianSassanidRomanRashidunUmayyadAbbasidAyyubidSeljukMongolTimuridSafavidAfsharid and Ottoman empires

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