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Basra Governorate: Map


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Basra (Bassorah) Vilayet in 1897

Basra province, or Al Basrah province, is a province in southern Iraqmarker bordering Kuwaitmarker to the south and Iranmarker to the east. The provincial capital is Basramarker city. Other major cities include Al-Qurnahmarker, Az Zubayrmarker and Umm Qasrmarker near the Persian Gulfmarker.

Ancient history

Modern history

After World War I

In 1920, after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the United Kingdommarker 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 Qarmarker and Maysanmarker to form a southeastern state in an eventual Iraqi federation is 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 Regionmarker in northern Iraq.

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. 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.

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

In September 2009, three districts of Basramarker 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-Arabmarker, which destroyed farm areas and threatened livestock. Civilians in the area were forced to evacuate.

Provincial Government

See also


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