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Asia > Middle East > Iraq > Southern Iraq

Southern Iraq

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Southern Iraq stretches south of the Baghdad Belts of Iraq to Kuwait. It is also referred to as Lower Mesopotamia (Mesopotamia meaning the Land between the Rivers – the Euphrates and Tigris) or the Cradle of Civilization. The largest religious group in the area is Shia Islam.


Map of Southern Iraq
  • 1 Al Diwaniyah
  • 2 Basra — the major city of the south, a large port town on the Shatt-al-Arab River just northwest of the Persian Gulf.
  • 3 Hillah
  • 4 Karbala
  • 5 Najaf
  • 6 Nasiriyah
  • 7 Umm Qasr

Other destinations[edit]

  • 1 Babylon — A World heritage-listed ruin one of the most prominent cities of Ancient Mesopotamia.
  • 2 Uruk Uruk on Wikipedia — An ancient city of Sumer
  • 3 Ur Ur on Wikipedia — Important city during the Sumerian era, includes the partly restored Great Ziggurat


The entirety of Karbala Province is located here, and is notable as the place of Martyr Imam Husain, where he fought war with Yazid, then Emperor or caliph of muslims, who had support of sunnis, and was thus proclaimed Caliph. The place has the tomb Imam as well as his armies Commander-in-chief and brother Abbas Allambardar. The Imam Husain's army had 96 warriors including women's and children were called Ahlebait. The total deaths in Ahlebait was 72. The place has the tomb of all the martyrs. It is considered a sacred place for Shi'a Muslims.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The main international gateway in the region is 1 Basra International Airport Basra International Airport on Wikipedia (BSR IATA) in Basra. A smaller airport exists in Najaf while the airport in Karbala is under construction as of late 2019.

By train[edit]

There are overnights trains from Baghdad to Basra, calling in many cities in the region on its way.

Get around[edit]


The Ur ziggurat

Southern Iraq is home to a mixed world heritage site, The Ahwar of Southern Iraq: Refuge of Biodiversity and the Relict Landscape of the Mesopotamian Cities, comprising four marshland areas and three Sumerian archaeological sites:

  • Huwaizah Marshes
  • Central Marshes
  • East Hammar Marshes
  • West Hammar Marshes
  • Uruk Archaeological City
  • Ur Archaeological City
  • Tell Eridu Archaeological Site




Stay safe[edit]

Southern Iraq is much safer than the rest of Iraq, but even here it is important to remain vigilant at all times and ensure you are well protected.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Southern Iraq is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!