Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert. It shares borders with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the west, Syria to the northwest, Turkey to the north, and Iran to the east. It has a very narrow section of coastline at Umm Qasr on the Persian Gulf. There are two major flowing rivers: the Tigris and the Euphrates. These provide Iraq with agriculturally capable land and contrast with the desert landscape that covers most of Western Asia.
In ancient times, the empire of Babylonia was based in what is now Iraq, and certain Iraqi groups sometimes identify themselves with the Babylonians. Iraq's modern borders were mostly demarcated in 1920 by the League of Nations when the Ottoman Empire was divided by the Treaty of Sèvres. Iraq was placed under the authority of the United Kingdom as the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. A monarchy was established in 1921 and the Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from Britain in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Republic of Iraq was created. Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power and multi-party parliamentary elections were held. The American presence in Iraq ended in 2011 but the Iraqi insurgency continued.
During 2013, Sunni militant groups stepped up attacks targeting the Iraq's Shia population in an attempt to undermine confidence in the Nouri al-Maliki-led government. In 2014, Sunni insurgents belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group seized control of large swaths of land including several major Iraqi cities, like Tikrit, Fallujah and Mosul creating hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons amid reports of atrocities by ISIS fighters. Efforts to retake Mosul began in 2016.
Iraq was a British protectorate in the Middle East before and during World War II. When the Race's Conquest Fleet invaded Tosev 3, it overran and conquered Iraq fairly easily. Iraq's arid desert climate was a good match for the Race's climatic preferences and they settled Iraq heavily. However, Iraq was a restive area, with its Islamic majority in perennial rebellion against the Race, and the area required heavy policing by Conquest Fleet veterans. The cities of Baghdad and Basra were particularly restive cities, with the population often staging uprisings and terrorist attacks against Race males.