Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital and largest city is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Assyrians/Chaldeans, Yazidis, Shabakis, Armenians, Sabian-Mandaeans, Circassians, and Kawliya. Around 95–98% of the country's 38 million citizens are Muslims, with small minorities of Christians, Yarsans, Yezidis and Mandaeans also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.
Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, historically known as Mesopotamia, is often referred to as the cradle of civilisation.