Iraq Main Cities

Iraq Main Cities


Mosul, Mossul, Arabic Al-Mausil, city ​​in Northern Iraq, 250 m above sea level, on the right bank of the Tigris, (2018) 1.36 million residents.

Administrative seat of the province of Nineveh, seat of a Chaldean metropolitan (with theological seminary) and a Syrian-Orthodox metropolitan; University (founded 1967); archaeological museum, libraries; TV channel; Trading center of an agricultural area (wheat cultivation); most important traffic junction of northern Iraq; Textile, building materials industry. Mosul is on the Baghdad Railway; international Airport.

Mosul rises across from the ruins of Nineveh. From the 10th to the 13th century it was the center of local Arab dynasties, around 1259 it was destroyed by the Mongols under Hülägü and in 1400 by Timur. In 1515 it came to Persia, in 1638 to the Ottoman Empire (important fortress). After the First World War, the area around Mosul was the subject of a dispute between Iraq and Turkey (Mosul question, Mosul treaty). In June 2014, the city was occupied by ISIS (Islamic State) militias. A major offensive by the Iraqi army and its allies on Mosul began in October 2016. On July 9, 2017, the Iraqi military announced the retaking of the largely destroyed city.


Basra, Basrah, provincial capital and most important city in southern Iraq, third largest city and former main port of the country, on the Shatt al-Arab 100 km above its mouth in the Persian Gulf, (2018) 1.34 million residents.

University (founded in 1964); Center of large oil fields (Rumaila and West-Qurna west of Basra, Majnunfeld north of Basra); Petroleum Refinery, Primary Industry; Center of a large date growing area. The port, the oil processing and shipping facilities as well as many other industrial facilities were no longer in operation during the 1st Gulf War between Iraq and Iran (1980-88) because of their proximity to the front. Since the access to the port had to be constantly dredged, an overseas port was opened in Umm Kasr in 1967; international Airport.


Old Basra, the ruins of which are 15 km southwest of today’s Basra, was founded by the Arabs in 638 as a permanent military camp. Under the Umayyads, Basra, known in medieval Europe as Balsora (so also in “The Thousand and One Nights”) or Bassora, achieved great prosperity and became the center of Arab art and science; Basra was also significant for the development of Islamic theology (Hasan al-Basri, † 728). Basra fell into disrepair since the 10th century; it did not recover from the Mongol invasion in the middle of the 13th century throughout the Middle Ages. In 1638 the city fell to the Ottoman Empire. In 1914 the British occupied Basra, and in 1920 it became the British Mandate Iraq. Destroyed in the 1st and 2nd Gulf War, Basra was the center of a bloodily suppressed uprising by the Shiites against the regime of S. Husain in 1991. Reconstruction then proceeded slowly and was interrupted by the occupation of Iraq in 2003.


According to localtimezone, Kirkuk, Kerkuk, is a city ​​in northeast Iraq, with 972 300 residents (2018).

Administrative seat of the province of Tamin; Center of major oil fields with oil refinery; international Airport.

Since the 3rd millennium BC Attested as Arrapchum, later called Arrapcha, which in the 15th and 14th centuries BC. Was the capital of a small Hurrian kingdom; then in Babylonian, then Assyrian possession (temporarily provincial center). The area around Kirkuk was still known as “Arrapachitis” in Greco-Roman times. The city, which is historically attributable to Kurdistan, fell to the Ottoman Empire with Iraq in 1638 and was occupied by British troops during the First World War. In 1927 the largest Iraqi oil field was discovered here.


Erbil, Arbil, Irbil, city ​​in Northern Iraq, administrative seat of the province of Erbil, lies on a wide hill in the middle of an intensely agricultural plain, 414 m above sea level, (2018) 879,000 residents.

End point of a railway line from Baghdad.

The city center is dominated by the citadel, the beginnings of which probably date back to Assyrian times (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014). A brick minaret (1190–1223) has been preserved from the old mosque of Erbil.

Erbil, Sumerian Urbilum, Arbilum, Akkadian Arbailu, Arbail, Old Persian Arbaira, Greek Arbela, is one of the oldest continuously populated cities on earth. It is already mentioned in sources of the 3rd millennium, was later an important city of Assyria, starting point of Assyrian campaigns in the west in the 9th century BC. Chr.; the Temple of Assur and Ishtar was v. a. in the 7th century an important oracle sanctuary (Leberschau). Erbil was probably 615 BC. Occupied by the Medes.

The Battle of Gaugamela took place northwest of Erbil.

Iraq Main Cities