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Iraq

Last Updated: Monday July 09 2007 14:31 GMT

History of Iraq

Ancient site in Iraq

Iraq is a fairly young country, only created in 1921 by the British government - who were also in charge of it.

The region the country now covers used to be part of a much larger area, covering lots of countries, called the Ottoman Empire.

When that fell, British rule took over - until Iraq was given independence in 1932.

A number of different governments controlled the country after that, until Saddam Hussein seized power in 1979.

Oil war

Then the UK and US supported him, because he was helping them fight a neighbouring country called Iran.

Things changed when Iraq sent soldiers into another country called Kuwait.

Kuwait had lots of oil which Saddam wanted for Iraq.

Many countries - including the US and UK - joined together to force Iraq's army out of Kuwait in a conflict called the Gulf War, in 1991.

Many people were worried about Saddam and Iraq, until he was forced from power in 2003.