Erbil .. The Front of Iraqi Kurdistan


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The city of Erbil is the administrative capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. It is located in the north of the State of Iraq on the Turkish border. It extends over an area of ​​115 square kilometres and has a population of about 3 million people. Today, this city is considered the first front of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, in addition to being the most developed and prosperous city in Iraq, but what about the history of this city? The history of the city goes back to the very distant past, as it is considered one of the ancient Iraqi cities with a very long and rich history.

In this article, you will learn from Iraqbet on the most important historical periods and events that the city of Erbil Iraq has experienced since its founding until the present day.

Erbil Iraq in Antiquity

أربيل في العصور القديمة
Erbil’s map in antiquity

Most readers may be surprised to know that the city of Erbil was located within the control of the Sumerian civilization in the year 3000 BC, which is a very important indicator of the extent of the antiquity of this city and its ancient history. Starting in 2050 BC, the city became one of the most important periods of the Assyrian civilization and remained so for a very long time, exceeding 1000 years, but during that period it fell under some occupations such as the Greek and Sassanid, before turning, starting in 323 BC, into a historical conflict zone Between the Romans and the Persians, where the two parties slept over control of it in fragmented periods.

During that period, many religions spread in Erbil, where the Mesopotamian religion prevailed for a long time, beginning with the emergence of the Assyrian civilization until the outbreak of the conflict between the Persians and the Romans. After that, most of the residents of Erbil converted to Christianity as a result of the many military campaigns carried out by the Romans in that period. In addition, it witnessed the presence of many people who followed the Jewish religion.

Erbil in the Middle Ages

The city of Erbil witnessed many fluctuations during the medieval period, and these fluctuations began through the spread of the Islamic conquests, which succeeded in controlling the city by the Umayyad and later Abbasid state, to settle many Arab, Turkish and Kurdish tribes. The rule of Erbil ranged between the Turks and the Kurds mainly, but it remained under the rule of the Islamic state for a very long time until the Mongols were able to conquer Baghdad and move to control Erbil after that.

After the Mongols took control of Erbil and its citadel, the city experienced a transitional period from the Islamic regime to its Christian counterpart, but this period was only the beginning of many subsequent transitional periods. The Christian control of the city did not last long as many Kurdish, Turkish tribes moved against the regime of the Assyrian Christians, which led to many conflicts and wars in the city, which ended unfortunately when Tamerlane and his army completely destroyed the city in 1397.

Beginning in the fifteenth century, Erbil fell under the control of many small emirates, such as the Emirate of Suzan and the Emirate of Baban, before it was controlled by the Ottoman army forces in 1851 for a period of more than 60 years until the outbreak of the First World War. During this idea, the city was home to many poets and historians, and it was a very important trade line between Baghdad and Mosul, and the Islamic religion became highly prevalent in it compared to its Christian, Jewish and other peers.

Erbil in the Modern Era

Modern painting of Erbil

The First World War witnessed the defeat of the Ottoman army forces and the complete collapse of the Ottoman Empire. As a result, Erbil fell under the control of British colonialism, like many other Iraqi cities. And Erbil remained part of the borders of the state of Iraq under the monarchy first, and later under the republican system, but it faced many problems and political clashes during the rule of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who fought many political clashes with the Kurdish parties that were and It still controls Erbil.

Some sources indicate that the political parties in the city of Erbil were strongly supportive of the US occupation of Iraq in 2003, which eventually led to the fall of Baghdad and the execution of the late President Saddam Hussein as a result. In addition, some other sources indicate that The city of Erbil was the place where the celebrations of the American army began when the official announcement of the fall of Baghdad and the surrender of the Iraqi army.

Today, Erbil is the administrative capital of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and the first tourist destination in Iraq in general. It is characterized by its economic stability compared to the rest of the Iraqi cities and its openness to the world greatly. The majority of the city’s residents are Kurds who follow the Islamic religion, but there are many Christians and Jews who still live in the city to this day.