History of Iraq

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Iraq, known in Classical Antiquity as Mesopotamia, was home to some of the oldest civilizations in the world,[1][2] with a cultural history of over 10,000 years.[3][4] hence its common epithet, the Cradle of Civilization. Mesopotamia, as part of the larger Fertile Crescent, was a significant part of the Ancient Near East throughout the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. Successively ruled by the Assyrian, Medo-Persian, Seleucid and Parthian empires during the Iron Age and Classical Antiquity, Iraq was conquered by the Rashidun Caliphate and became a center of the Islamic Golden Age during the medieval Abbasid Caliphate. After a series of invasions and conquest by the Mongols and Turkmens, Iraq fell under Ottoman rule in the 16th century, intermittently falling under Mamluk and Safavid control.

Ottoman rule ended with World War I, and Iraq came to be administered by the British Empire until the establishment of the Kingdom of Iraq in 1932. The Republic of Iraq was established in 1958 following a coup d'état. The Republic was controlled by Saddam Hussein from 1979 to 2003, into which period falls the Iran-Iraq war and the First Persian Gulf War. Saddam Hussein was deposed in 2003 following the US-led invasion of the country. After the invasion, the situation deteriorated and from 2007 Iraq has been in or on the brink of a state of civil war.

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