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Basra Governorate
—  Governorate  —
Coordinates: 30°22′N 47°22′E / 30.367°N 47.367°E / 30.367; 47.367
Country Iraq
Capital Basra
 - Total 19,070 km2 (7,363 sq mi)
Population (2003)
 - Total 1,761,000
Main language(s) Arabic
Basra (Bassorah) Vilayet in 1897

Basra province, or Al Basrah province, is a province in southern Iraq bordering Kuwait to the south and Iran to the east. The provincial capital is Basra city. Other major cities include Al-Qurnah, Az Zubayr and Umm Qasr near the Persian Gulf.


Ancient history

Modern history


After World War I

In 1920, after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the United Kingdom combined the former Ottoman vilayets of Basra, Baghdad and Mosul to form the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. The mandate was succeeded by the Kingdom of Iraq in 1932.

After the Baath regime

A proposal to join Basra with the neighbouring governorates of Dhi Qar and Maysan to form a southeastern state in an eventual Iraqi federation is currently under discussion. A new law, passed by the Iraqi Parliament in 2006, allows for the merger of two or more provinces as of April 2008. Currently, there is movement calling for a referendum on making Basra an autonomous region like the Kurdish Autonomous Region in northern Iraq.[1]

On the 9th of December 2007, it was announced by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown that control of the Basra Governorate would be handed over from Coalition forces to local Iraqi control.[2] The province was formally transferred a week later, on the 16th of December 2007, making it the 9th such province to be transferred to full Iraqi control.[3]

The Basra Governorate tried to gain autonomy through collecting signatures for an autonomy referendum in December 2008 and January 2009;[1][4] however, the signatures did not reach 10% of eligible voters, and thus the referendum bid failed.[5]

In September 2009, three districts of Basra province were declared disaster areas as a result of Iran's construction of new dams on the Karun River. The new dams resulted in high levels of salinity in the Shatt Al-Arab, which destroyed farm areas and threatened livestock. Civilians in the area were forced to evacuate.[6]

Provincial Government

  • Governor: Muhammad Musbih al-Wa'ili [1]
  • Deputy Governor: Luay al-Battat [2]
  • Provincial Council Chairman (PCC): Muhammad Sa'doun al-Abadi [3]

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ "Iraq to be given control of Basra". BBC NEWS, December 9, 2007.
  3. ^ "UK troops return Basra to Iraqis". BBC NEWS, December 16, 2007.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Basra province incapable of responding to crisis". 2009-09-08. Retrieved 2009-09-08.  


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