Iraq Fast FactsBy CNN LibraryUpdated 1:37 PM ET, Thu August 28, 2014The ISIS terror threat 45 photosRelatives of Moaz al-Kassasbeh, a Jordanian pilot who was captured in December by ISIS militants, protest in front of the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday, January 28. ISIS has threatened to kill al-Kassasbeh and Japanese hostage Kenji Goto if Jordan does not release Sajida al-Rishawi, a convicted would-be suicide bomber.Hide Caption 1 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosKurdish people celebrate in Suruc, Turkey, near the Turkish-Syrian border, after ISIS militants were expelled from Kobani, Syria, on Tuesday, January 27. Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, had been under assault by ISIS since mid-September.Hide Caption 2 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosCollapsed buildings are seen in Kobani on January 27 after Kurdish forces took control of the town from ISIS. ISIS has been making advances in Iraq and Syria as it seeks to create an Islamic caliphate in the region.Hide Caption 3 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosJunko Ishido, mother of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, reacts during a news conference in Tokyo on Friday, January 23. ISIS has already claimed to kill another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa.Hide Caption 4 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosISIS militants are seen through a rifle's scope during clashes with Peshmerga fighters in Mosul, Iraq, on Wednesday, January 21.Hide Caption 5 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosAn elderly Yazidi arrives in Kirkuk, Iraq, on Saturday, January 17, after being released by ISIS. The militant group released about 200 Yazidis who were held captive for five months in Iraq. Almost all of the freed prisoners were in poor health and bore signs of abuse and neglect, Kurdish officials said.Hide Caption 6 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosAn identification card lies in the dirt in the Hardan village in northern Iraq on Monday, December 22. A handful of Yazidis who fled when ISIS overran the town in August returned after Kurdish fighters drove the extremists out.Hide Caption 7 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosSmoke billows behind an ISIS sign during an Iraqi military operation to regain control of the town of Sadiyah, about 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad, on Tuesday, November 25.Hide Caption 8 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosFighters from the Free Syrian Army and the Kurdish People's Protection Units join forces to fight ISIS in Kobani on Wednesday, November 19.Hide Caption 9 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosA picture taken from Turkey shows smoke rising after ISIS militants fired mortar shells toward an area controlled by Syrian Kurdish fighters near Kobani on Monday, November 3.Hide Caption 10 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosIraqi special forces search a house in Jurf al-Sakhar, Iraq, on Thursday, October 30, after retaking the area from ISIS.Hide Caption 11 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosISIS militants stand near the site of an airstrike near the Turkey-Syria border on Thursday, October 23. The United States and several Arab nations have been bombing ISIS targets in Syria to take out the militant group's ability to command, train and resupply its fighters.Hide Caption 12 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosKurdish fighters walk to positions as they combat ISIS forces in Kobani on Sunday, October 19.Hide Caption 13 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosA U.S. Air Force plane flies above Kobani on Saturday, October 18. Hide Caption 14 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosHeavy smoke rises in Kobani following an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition on October 18.Hide Caption 15 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosCundi Minaz, a female Kurdish fighter, is buried in a cemetery in the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc on Tuesday, October 14. Minaz was reportedly killed during clashes with ISIS militants in nearby Kobani.Hide Caption 16 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosTurkish police officers secure a basketball stadium in Suruc on October 14. Some Syrian Kurds were held there after crossing from Syria into Turkey. Tens of thousands of people fled Kobani to escape ISIS.Hide Caption 17 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosKiymet Ergun, a Syrian Kurd, celebrates in Mursitpinar, Turkey, after an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition in Kobani on Monday, October 13.Hide Caption 18 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosAlleged ISIS militants stand next to an ISIS flag atop a hill in Kobani on Monday, October 6. Hide Caption 19 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosIn this photo released by the U.S. Air Force on Saturday, October 4, a U.S. Navy jet is refueled in Iraqi airspace after conducting an airstrike against ISIS militants.Hide Caption 20 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosA Kurdish Peshmerga soldier who was wounded in a battle with ISIS is wheeled to the Zakho Emergency Hospital in Duhuk, Iraq, on Tuesday, September 30.Hide Caption 21 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosSyrian Kurds wait near a border crossing in Suruc as they wait to return to their homes in Kobani on Sunday, September 28.Hide Caption 22 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosTomahawk missiles, intended for ISIS targets in Syria, fly above the Persian Gulf after being fired by the USS Philippine Sea in this image released by the U.S. Navy on Tuesday, September 23.Hide Caption 23 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosTurkish Kurds clash with Turkish security forces during a protest near Suruc on Monday, September 22. According to Time magazine, the protests were over Turkey's temporary decision to close the border with Syria.Hide Caption 24 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosSyrian Kurds fleeing ISIS militants wait behind a fence in Suruc on Sunday, September 21.Hide Caption 25 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosA elderly man is carried after crossing the Syria-Turkey border near Suruc on Saturday, September 20.Hide Caption 26 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosA Kurdish Peshmerga fighter launches mortar shells toward ISIS militants in Zumar, Iraq, on Monday, September 15.Hide Caption 27 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosKurdish Peshmerga fighters fire at ISIS militant positions from their position on the top of Mount Zardak, east of Mosul, Iraq, on Tuesday, September 9. Hide Caption 28 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosIraqi volunteer fighters celebrate breaking the Amerli siege on Monday, September 1. ISIS militants had surrounded Amerli, 70 miles north of Baquba, Iraq, since mid-June.Hide Caption 29 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosKurdish Peshmerga forces stand guard at their position in the Omar Khaled village west of Mosul on Sunday, August 24. Hide Caption 30 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosKurdish Peshmergas fight to regain control of the town of Celavle, in Iraq's Diyala province, on August 24.Hide Caption 31 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosPeshmerga fighters stand guard at Mosul Dam in northern Iraq on Thursday, August 21. With the help of U.S. military airstrikes, Kurdish and Iraqi forces retook the dam from ISIS militants on August 18. A breach of the dam would have been catastrophic for millions of Iraqis who live downstream from it.Hide Caption 32 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosDisplaced Iraqis receive clothes from a charity at a refugee camp near Feeshkhabour, Iraq, on Tuesday, August 19.Hide Caption 33 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosPeshmerga fighters inspect the remains of a car that reportedly belonged to ISIS militants and was targeted by a U.S. airstrike in the village of Baqufa, north of Mosul, on August 18.Hide Caption 34 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosKurdish Peshmerga fighters fire at ISIS in Khazair, Iraq, on Thursday, August 14. Hide Caption 35 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosAziza Hamid, a 15-year-old Iraqi girl, cries for her father while she and some other Yazidi people are flown to safety Monday, August 11, after a dramatic rescue operation at Iraq's Mount Sinjar. A CNN crew was on the flight, which took diapers, milk, water and food to the site where as many as 70,000 people were trapped by ISIS. But only a few of them were able to fly back on the helicopter with the Iraqi Air Force and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.Hide Caption 36 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosThousands of Yazidis are escorted to safety by Kurdish Peshmerga forces and a People's Protection Unit in Mosul on Saturday, August 9.Hide Caption 37 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosThousands of Yazidi and Christian people flee Mosul on Wednesday, August 6, after the latest wave of ISIS advances.Hide Caption 38 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosA Baiji oil refinery burns after an alleged ISIS attack in northern Selahaddin, Iraq, on Thursday, July 31.Hide Caption 39 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosA Syrian rebel fighter lies on a stretcher at a makeshift hospital in Douma, Syria, on Wednesday, July 9. He was reportedly injured while fighting ISIS militants.Hide Caption 40 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosPeshmerga fighters clean their weapons at a base in Tuz Khormato on June 25.Hide Caption 41 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosNew army recruits gather in Najaf, Iraq, on Wednesday, June 18, following a call for Iraqis to take up arms against Islamic militant fighters. Hide Caption 42 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosKurdish Peshmerga forces, along with Iraqi special forces, deploy their troops and armored vehicles outside of Kirkuk, Iraq, on June 12.Hide Caption 43 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosChildren stand next to a burnt vehicle during clashes between Iraqi security forces and ISIS militants in Mosul on Tuesday, June 10.Hide Caption 44 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosCivilians from Mosul escape to a refugee camp near Irbil, Iraq, on June 10. Hide Caption 45 of 45Here's a look at the country of Iraq which borders Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran and the Persian Gulf.About Iraq:(from the CIA World Factbook)Area: 438,317 sq kmPopulation: 32,585,692 (July 2014 est.) Median age: 21.5 years Capital: Baghdad Ethnic Groups: Arab 75%-80%, Kurdish 15%-20%, Turkoman, Assyrian, or other 5% Religion: Muslim (official) 99% (Shia 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian 0.8%GDP: $249.4 billion (2013 est.) GDP per capita: $7,100 (2013 est.) Unemployment: 16% (2012 est.)Other Facts:In ancient times, the area comprising Iraq was known as Mesopotamia and gave rise to some of the world's first civilizations. One of the religious minorities in Iraq is the Yazidi. Throughout the Middle East, Yazidi number between 200,000 and one million. Approximately 500,000 live in Iraq, mostly in the north. Their beliefs draw from aspects of Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism. Chaldean Christians are another minority religious group in Iraq. They number approximately 500,000, down from over one million prior to 2003. Timeline:1921 - After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, Great Britain gains control of the area. It sets up a government in Mesopotamia and renames the country Iraq.1924 - The new Constitutional Assembly of Iraq meets to consider the Anglo-Iraq treaty. The treaty would compel Iraq to honor all agreements made by Great Britain previously, including oil concessions. In order to compel Iraq to accept the treaty, Great Britain threatens to withdraw and leave Iraq vulnerable to Saudi Arabia or Turkey. The treaty is ratified.October 3, 1932 - Iraq becomes an independent nation with Baghdad as its capital, and is admitted to the League of Nations.1943-1945 - Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani leads an uprising, gaining control of areas of Irbil and Badinan. When the uprising is defeated, Barzani and his forces retreat to Kurdish areas in Iran and align with nationalist fighters under the leadership of Qazi Muhammad.March 22, 1945 - Iraq becomes a founding member of the Arab League. December 21, 1945 - Iraq becomes a member of the United Nations.July 14, 1958 - King Faisal is killed in a coup led by Abdul Karim Kassem.October 1959 - A group, including Saddam Hussein, attacks the motorcade of Abdul Karim Kassem. The assassination attempt fails and most of the attackers are killed. Hussein escapes and flees to Syria. February 1963 - Kassem is overthrown and executed. The Baath Party assumes control of the government. Hussein returns from Cairo, Egypt. The new Baath government is overthrown before the end of the year.July 17, 1968 - In a coup, Major General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr of the Baath party becomes Iraq's new president. Saddam Hussein becomes the secretary and acting deputy chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council.October 1973 - Iraq fights Israel in the Yom Kippur war.March 6, 1975 - Saddam Hussein and Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi of Iran meet to discuss a treaty. The Algiers Accord is signed by both countries later in the year.October 1978 - At the Shah's insistence, Hussein expels Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini from Iraq, where he has been in exile for 13 years.February 1979 - The Ayatollah returns to Iran to lead the country, after the ouster of the Shah in January.July 16, 1979 - Hussein takes over as president of Iraq.1979 - In response to the Ayatollah's call for the overthrow of the Baathist regime, comprised mostly of Sunni Muslims, President Hussein expels 40,000 Shiite Muslims. Hussein also orders the execution of Ayatollah Mohammed al-Bakr Sadr, an ally of Ayatollah Khomeini.September 22, 1980 - Iraq launches an air attack against Iran, beginning the Iran-Iraq war. In 1984 and 1986 Iraq is accused of using mustard gas and other chemical weapons against Iran. The war ends in a stalemate in 1988.March 16, 1988 - Iraq uses poison gas against the Kurdish people in Halabja in Northern Iraq. Thousands of people are believed to have died in the attack. August 2, 1990 - Iraq invades Kuwait. January 17, 1991 - Operation Desert Storm begins.February 28, 1991 - A ceasefire in the Gulf War takes effect.March 1991 - After the coalition expels Iraq from Kuwait, the U.S. encourages the Kurds to rebel. However, Iraq crushes the rebellion and one million Kurds flee to Turkey.April 3, 1991 - The U.N. passes Security Council Resolution 687. It establishes UNSCOM.April 6, 1991 - Iraq accepts SCR 687.April 18, 1991 - Under the terms of SCR 687, Iraq gives a detailed account of its weapons inventory. It states that it has no biological weapons program.April 14, 1995 - The U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 986 establishing the "oil-for-food" program, providing Iraq with the opportunity to sell oil to finance the purchase of humanitarian goods. Iraq does not accept the plan.December 16, 1998 - Great Britain and the United States launch air strikes against Iraq. The attack, called Operation Desert Fox, is in response to Iraq's refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors.January 29, 2002 - U.S. President George W. Bush says in his State of the Union address that Iraq, Iran and North Korea constitute an "axis of evil'' that threatens the United States.September 16, 2002 - Facing the threat of U.S. air strikes, Iraq unconditionally agrees to the return of United Nations inspectors.September 19, 2002 - Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri sends a letter to the U.N. from Saddam Hussein stating that Iraq has no chemical, nuclear or biological weapons. November 8, 2002 - The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 1441, outlining strict new weapons inspections and threatening "serious consequences" if Iraq fails to comply.November 13, 2002 - Iraq agrees to comply with U.N. Resolution 1441. November 27, 2002 - U.N. inspectors begin working in Iraq.December 7, 2002 - Iraq submits a 12,000 page declaration of former weapons programs and civilian industries with military applications to the United Nations.January 27, 2003 - Chief inspectors Mohammad ElBaradei and Hans Blix brief the U.N. Security Council on Iraqi compliance with inspections.March 7, 2003 - Chief inspectors ElBaradei and Blix submit their final reports to the U.N. Security Council.March 19, 2003 - President George W. Bush announces that U.S. and coalition forces have begun military action against Iraq. (This means that military action began the morning of March 20th in Iraq.)March 20, 2003 - President Hussein speaks on Iraqi TV. He calls the U.S. led coalition attacks - "shameful crimes against Iraq and humanity." April 9, 2003 - Coalition forces take Baghdad. May 1, 2003 - Speaking on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, President George W. Bush declares that "major combat operations" in the Iraq war are over, despite some continued fighting.May 22, 2003 - The United Nations Security Council approves Resolution 1483, lifting sanctions against Iraq and reaffirms the "sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq." It also acknowledges the U.S. and Great Britain's right to occupy Iraq. The resolution sets up a U.N. support system to work with the U.S. and Great Britain to facilitate the transition to a government elected by the people of Iraq. November 21, 2003 - The oil-for-food program ends. The Coalition Provisional Authority takes responsibility for supplying humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people.December 13, 2003 - Hussein is captured in a "spider hole" near a hut in Tikrit. His capture is not confirmed until December 14 by the U.S. Defense Department. June 1, 2004 - The Iraqi interim government takes over from the U.S.-backed Iraqi Governing Council (the IGC dissolves itself). The new interim government will be in charge of the country after sovereignty is handed over and until national elections for a transitional government are held by the end of January.June 28, 2004 - The handover of sovereignty to the interim Iraqi government takes place at 10:26 am local time, two days before the June 30th deadline previously announced by the U.S.-led coalition.June 28, 2004 - Ayad Allawi is sworn in as the interim prime minister of Iraq. He is the first ruler other than Saddam Hussein to lead the country in more than three decades. He steps down in April 2005. June 30, 2004 - The Coalition turns over legal control of Saddam Hussein and 11 other former top Iraqi officials to the interim Iraqi government. They remain, however, in the physical custody of the U.S. for security reasons.July 1, 2004 - Saddam Hussein makes his first appearance in court. A judge charges him with a variety of crimes that marked his reign, including the invasion of Kuwait and the gassing of the Kurds.August 2004 - U.S. and Iraqi forces battle insurgents in Najaf. Many insurgents there are followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.September 23, 2004 - Ayad Allawi, interim leader of Iraq, speaks before a joint session of Congress while he is in Washington for meetings with President George W. Bush.November 2004 - U.S. and Iraqi forces battle insurgents in Falluja. About 2,000 insurgents are killed. On November 14, 2004, the U.S. declares Falluja "liberated."January 30, 2005 - Millions of Iraqis cast ballots in the nation's first free election in half a century. Iraqi expatriates in Australia, the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Iran, Jordan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Syria, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates also participate.April 6 - 7, 2005 - Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani is selected the country's president by the transitional national assembly. The next day he and two vice presidents are sworn in.May 3, 2005 - Ibrahim al-Jaafari is sworn in as Iraq's interim Prime Minister. He steps down in May 2006.December 15, 2005 - Millions of Iraqis participate in an election to choose a 275-seat Parliament that will serve a four-year term. February 10, 2006 - The results of the December 2005 election are certified. The United Iraqi Alliance wins 128 seats, the Kurdistan Alliance Party wins 53 seats, the Iraqi Accord Party wins 44 seats and the final 50 seats are split between five other parties.April 22, 2006 - President Jalal Talabani names Nuri al-Maliki Prime Minister-designate.May 20, 2006 - The Iraqi Parliament approves Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's choices for the Iraqi national unity government. There are 37 cabinet ministers, comprised of representatives from all major parties and all major ethnic and secular groups.November 5, 2006 - The Iraqi High Tribunal reaches a verdict in the Dujail case. Eight defendants are charged with crimes relating to the murder of 148 Iraqi men in 1982. Former President Hussein is found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging, pending appeal. December 30, 2006 - Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is hanged a few minutes after 6 am Baghdad time.January 1, 2009 - The U.S. military hands over control of Baghdad's "Green Zone" to Iraqi authorities. June 30, 2009 - U.S. troops pull back from Iraqi cities and towns and Iraqi troops take over the responsibility for security operations. However, U.S. troops remain in the country to continue combat operations and patrols in rural areas. March 7, 2010 - Iraqi legislative elections are held. The results are announced on March 26th. The Iraqiya coalition, led by former interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, wins the most seats in Parliament. August 19, 2010 - The last U.S. combat brigade leaves Iraq. Approximately 52,000 U.S. troops remain in the country. September 1, 2010 - Operation Iraqi Freedom is renamed Operation New Dawn, to reflect the reduced role U.S. troops will play in securing the country.November 25, 2010 - Al-Maliki is named to a second term by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in a televised ceremony.December 15, 2010 - The U.N. Security Council votes to free Iraq from sanctions that started during the Saddam Hussein era.December 15, 2011 - U.S. troops lower the flag of command that flies over Baghdad officially ending the U.S. military mission in Iraq.September 9, 2012 - Fugitive Iraqi vice-president Tariq al-Hashimi is sentenced to death after being found guilty of running a death squad. January 2014 - Violence erupts in Anbar province with Iraqi security forces, Sunni tribesmen and al-Qaeda-linked groups battling for control of the cities of Falluja and Ramadi.April 30, 2014 - Iraqis vote in parliamentary elections to elect members of the Council of Representatives. Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki's party wins 92 seats in parliamentary elections, short of the 165 seats needed for a majority. June 10, 2014 - Al-Qaeda splinter group ISIS seizes the province of Nineveh and its capital Mosul. June 11, 2014 - ISIS takes control of Tikrit.July 24, 2014 - Fouad Massoum succeeds Jalal Talabani as president.August 8, 2014 - Two U.S. F/A-18 jet fighters bomb Sunni Islamic extremists in Iraq. President Barack Obama has authorized "targeted airstrikes" if needed to protect U.S. personnel from ISIS militants. The U.S. military also could use airstrikes to prevent what officials warn could be a genocide of minority groups by the ISIS fighters.August 14, 2014 - In a televised address, Prime Minister al-Maliki withdraws his candidacy for a third term and endorses Haider al-Abadi as his replacement. More from middleeastWho is Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh, captured by ISIS?Father of American killed in Libya says son was a patriotISIS' Japanese hostage video raises new questions about 'Jihadi John'