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Diyala Governorate
Arabic: ديالى
—  Governorate  —
Coordinates: 33°53′N 45°4′E / 33.883°N 45.067°E / 33.883; 45.067
Country Iraq
Capital Baqubah
Area
 - Total 17,685 km2 (6,828.2 sq mi)
Population (2003)
 - Total 1,224,000
Main language(s) Arabic
Kurdish

Diyala (Arabic: ديالى‎) is one of the constituent governorates of the nation of Iraq.

Contents

Provincial Government

  • Governor: Ra’ad Hameed Al-Mula Jowad Al-Tamimi [1]
  • Deputy Governor: Auf Rahim [2]
  • Provincial Council Chairman (PCC): Ibrahim Hassan al-Bajellane [3]

Geography

Diyala province extends to the northeast of Baghdad as far as the Iranian border. Its capital is Baqubah. It covers an area of 17,685 square kilometres (6,828 sq mi).

A large portion of the province is drained by the Diyala River, a major tributary of the Tigris. Because of its proximity to two major sources of water, Diyala's main industry is agriculture, primarily dates grown in large Date Palm groves. It is also recognized as the orange capital of the Middle East.

The Hamrin mountains are in this governorate.

Population and Government

The Kurds forms the majority in Kifri and Khanaqin Districts, and Sunni Arabs in the rest of the Governorate. Shi'a Arabs exist mostly in the villages of Kharnabat, Al Abarrah, Zaganiya and Al Howaider.[1]

In 2003, it had an estimated population of some 1,224,000 people. about 80 percent are Sunni Arabs, with 16 percent Feyli Kurds and 2 percent Turkmen and 2 percent Shi'a Arabs and others.
75% of the population of Diyala are in the major cities : Baqubah, Muqdadiyah and Khanaqin.[2]

Districts of Diyala Governorate

The populations of these Districts as estimated in 2003 were as follows.

Districts Baqubah Al-Muqdadiya Khanaqin Al khalis Kifri Baladrooz Total
Population 467,895 198,583 160,379 255,889 42,010 99,601 1,224,358
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Cities and towns and villages

Infrastructure

The Diyala Province also boasts the Diyala Media Center which has one of the Middle East's tallest radio and television antennas at 349 metres (1,047 ft). The Diyala Media Center was built under contract by a Japanese architectural firm in 1989. It is one of Iraq's few independent radio and television stations that offer local television and radio news coverage as well as rebroadcasting state-run television.

Civil unrest

There is evidence that Al-Qaeda in Iraq has recently moved its base of operations from Anbar province to Diyala. During late 2006 Baqubah and much of the Diyala province were reported to have come under Sunni insurgent control.[4] This insurgent control is reported to have continued through 2007 and into early 2008.[5]

On May 11, 2007, Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander of the Multination Division North said he needed more troops in order to contain the current level of violence in the Diyala province, this coming in the recent wake of a troop "surge", involuntary recalls by the U.S. military, and the public debate about the level of commitment from the U.S. government.[6] By mid-2007 the Islamic State of Iraq, already holding Baqubah and most of the province under its control, declared its capital to be Baqubah. There is already strong evidence the Islamic State of Iraq has moved most of its command and control operations to Diyala.

In June 2007, US forces launched Operation Arrowhead Ripper with night air assaults in Baqubah. By August 19, Baqubah was largely secured, although some insurgent presence remained in the city and surrounding areas. Fighting continued in the Diyala River valley but by the beginning of October, US and Iraqi forces held most of the province while the insurgents were in retreat to the north and west. Diyala is still a contested province. On October 27 the Islamic State of Iraq attacked a police base in Baqubah, killing 28 Iraqi policemen and police recruits, showing that insurgent cells still remain in the province.

In January 2008 Operation Phantom Phoenix was launched in an attempt to eradicate the remaining insurgents following the Diyala province campaign between 2006 and 2007.

Mid 2008 saw many changes in Diyala province with an increased effort by U.S. Forces and a substantial Iraqi Army presence, and in the Baqubah region, Al Qaida in Iraq activity was dramatically hampered, and the Sons of Iraq program served only to further weaken Al-Qaida in Iraq.

See also

References

External links


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