The Republic of Iraq is a country located in Western Asia, whose capital is Baghdad.
The Republic of Iraq is a country bordered by Turkey, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria. Its capital, Baghdad, is the largest city of the country and is located in the very centre of it.
The two main ethnic groups are Arabs and Kurds and Arabic and Kurdish are the two official languages since 2004. Prior to the US invasion in 2003 (with its coalition partners, of which the UK), Arabic was the sole official language. In the past year, Iraqi Kurds have been particularly spoken of for battling against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in the autonomous Iraqi Kurdish territories and in Iraq.
Assyrians Christians account for 5% of the population. Other minorities include Turcoman, Shabaki, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya, and minority languages include Mandaic, Shabaki, Armenian, Circassian and Persian.
Around 95% of the citizens are Muslims (around 65% Shia and 35% Sunni); other religions include Christians, Yezidis, Mandeans and Marsans.
The Kingdom of Iraq became independent from the United Kindgom in 1932, and the Republic of Iraq was created in 1958. From 1968 until 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party controlled the country. The invasion of the US and its allies in2003 removed Saddam Hussein's Shia party from power and multi-party parliamentary elections were held: Sunni officials took power. The country's Constitution defines it as a democratic federal parliamentary Islamic republic.
The new government replaced the Sunni army by Shia forces, leaving many Sunnis feeling marginalized by the government. The Americans gradually left the country between 2008 and 2011. Following the withdrawal of US troops from the country, insurgency intensified, particularly by the Iraqi National Movement, who, for instance, boycotted Parliament for several weeks in 2011-2012 because they felt sidelined by it as Sunnis.
Many Iraqis have left to fight in the Syrian War, and since 2014, Sunni insurgents who belong to ISIS control large parts of the country, of which very important cities such as Mosul and Fallujah.
Maliki stepped down as Prime Minister on August 14 2014. On September 9 2014, Haider al-Abadi formed a new government and became the new Prime Ministe.