Berto Jongman: 27 Maps Explaining Iraq Crisis

Berto Jongman
Berto Jongman

27 maps that explain the crisis in Iraq

by Zack Beauchamp, Max Fisher and Dylan Matthews on June 23, 2014

The current Iraq crisis began in early June, when the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), which already controls parts of Syria, seized much of northern Iraq, including the major city of Mosul. The conflict has roots in Iraq's complicated history, its religious and ethnic divisions, and of course in the Iraq War that began with the 2003 US-led invasion. These 27 maps are a rough guide to today's crisis and the deeper forces behind it.

Click on Image to Enlarge
Click on Image to Enlarge


01 Iraq's demographic divide
02 Sunni-Shia balance in the Middle East
03 The Kurdish region, in Iraq and beyond
04 Iraq's enormous oil reserves
05 The Battle of Karbala, 680 AD
06 The Safavid Empire at its height
07 How the Sykes-Picot agreement carbed Iraq's borders
08 Saddam Hussein Al-Anfal campaign against the Kurds
09 The 1990 Gulf War order of battle
10 The anti-Saddam uprising of 1991
11 The no-fly zones imposed after the Gulf War
12 Why Saddam drained Iraq's marshes
13 What sanctions did to Iraq
14 The coalition against Iraq, 1990 and 2003
15 How the invasion overran Iraq in one month
16 How de-Baathification devastated the Iraqi army
17 The rise and fall of the Sunni insurgency, 2006-2008
18 Iraqi civilian deaths, 2003-2010
19 The ethnic cleansing of Baghdad
20 ISIS's 2006 plan for Iraq and Syria
21 The Sunni protest movement of 2013
22 Syria's civil war
23 ISIS march south through Iraq, June 2014
24 Where ISIS has control in Iraq and Syria
25 The spike in Iraqi deaths since 2011
26 Iraqi civilians displaced by the crisis
27 A hypothetical re-drawing of Iraq and Syria

See all 27 maps with discussion for each.

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