Diyala Governorate

Diyala Governorate (Arabic: محافظة ديالىMuḥāfaẓah Diyālā) or Diyala Province is a governorate in eastern Iraq.

Diyala Governorate

محافظة ديالى
Location of Diyala Governorate
Coordinates: 33°53′N 45°4′E / 33.883°N 45.067°ECoordinates: 33°53′N 45°4′E / 33.883°N 45.067°E
Country Iraq
GovernorMuthana Al-Timimi
 • Total17,685 km2 (6,828 sq mi)
 • Total1,637,226
HDI (2017)0.672[1]

Provincial government

  • Governor: Muthana al-Timimi[2]
  • Deputy Governor: Mohammed Jassim al-Jubouri[3]


Party Seats Ideology
Diyala's National Alliance 12 Shia Islamism
Iraqi Diyala 10 Sunni Islamism
Kurdistan Alliance 3 Kurdish Nationalism
Iraqi National Movement 1 Secularism
Determined to Build 1 Islamism
Diyala's New Coalition 1 Islamism
Total 29


Diyala Governorate extends to the northeast of Baghdad as far as the Iranian border. Its capital is Baqubah. It covers an area of 17,685 square kilometres (6,828 sq mi).

A large portion of the province is drained by the Diyala River, a major tributary of the Tigris. Because of its proximity to two major sources of water, Diyala's main industry is agriculture, primarily dates grown in large groves. The province also contains one of the largest olive groves in the Middle East.[4] It is also recognized as the orange capital of the Middle East. The Hamrin Mountains pass through the governorate.


The population and the ethnic composition of this province has been in a major state of flux since the Coalition invasion of 2003 and the removal of the Sunni Arab government of Saddam Hussein from Baghdad. That government and those before it, had all been Sunni Arabs and as such, supportive of the Sunni Arab interests at the expenses of all other ethnic and confessional minorities such as the Shia, Kurds and even Iraqi Turkmen. This changed drastically starting in 2003, with the Sunni Arabs becoming the ones subjected to intimidation and expulsion all over the province.

Presently, an estimated population of some 1,224,000 people live in this province. Sunni Arabs, once a solid majority until 2003, have been losing their positions due to violence of the Iraqi Civil War (2006–07) and since summer of 2014, due to resurgent Ba'ath in the company of the ISIS. Nearly half the Sunni Arab population has been pushed out of the province. Presently, they constitute no more than 25 percent of the population of the Diyala Governorate. In contrast, the Feyli Kurds who were deported from this area from the 1960 to 1990s by various Sunni Arab governments in Baghdad are returning-as have other Kurds. They now dominate the entire Khanaqin district and all others bordering on Iran in this province. At the lowest point during the rule of Saddam Hussein, their numbers had fallen to just 7% of the total. Today, they boast to around 30% and increasing as they take up their old homes in places such a Jalula/Jalawla and Al-Sadiyah. The rest of the residents are Iraqi Sunni Turkmen (around 5%) predominantly in Kifri, but in smaller pockets at Jalawla, Al-Sadiyah, Miqdadiya and other smaller pockets dispersed around the province.

Administrative districts

Diyala province
Districts of the Diyala Governorate

Diyala Governorate comprises six districts, listed below with their areas[5] and populations as estimated in 2003:[6]

District Name
in Arabic
Area in
sq. km
in 2003
Ba'quba بعقوبة 1,630 467,895
Al-Muqdadiya المقدادية 1,033 198,583
Khanaqin خانقين 3,512 160,379
Al-Khalis الخالص 2,994 255,889
Kifri كفري 1,139 42,010
Balad Ruz بلد روز 6,280 99,601
Total 17,685 1,224,358

Cities and towns and villages


The Diyala Province boasts the Diyala Media Center which has one of the Middle East's tallest radio and television antennas at 349 metres (1,047 ft). The Diyala Media Center was built under contract by a Japanese architectural firm in 1989. It is one of Iraq's few independent radio and television stations that offer local television and radio news coverage as well as rebroadcasting state-run television.

Civil unrest

There is evidence that Al-Qaeda in Iraq moved its base of operations from Anbar province to Diyala in 2006, and during late 2006 Baqubah and much of the Diyala province were reported to have come under Sunni insurgent control.[8] This insurgent control is reported to have continued through 2007 and into early 2008.[9]

On May 11, 2007, Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander of the Multination Division North said he needed more troops in order to contain the current level of violence in the Diyala province, this coming in the recent wake of a troop "surge", involuntary recalls by the U.S. military, and the public debate about the level of commitment from the U.S. government.[10] By mid-2007 the Islamic State of Iraq, already holding Baqubah and most of the province under its control, declared its capital to be Baqubah.

In June 2007, US forces launched Operation Arrowhead Ripper with night air assaults in Baqubah. By August 19, Baqubah was largely secured, although some insurgent presence remained in the city and surrounding areas. Fighting continued in the Diyala River valley but by the beginning of October, US and Iraqi forces held most of the province while the insurgents were in retreat to the north and west. On October 27 the Islamic State of Iraq attacked a police base in Baqubah, killing 28 Iraqi policemen and police recruits, showing that insurgent cells still remain in the province.

In January 2008 Operation Phantom Phoenix was launched in an attempt to eradicate the remaining insurgents following the Diyala campaign between 2006 and 2007.

Mid-2008 saw many changes in Diyala province with an increased effort by U.S. Forces and a substantial Iraqi Army presence, and in the Baqubah region, Islamic State of Iraq's activity was dramatically hampered, and the Sons of Iraq program served only to further weaken Islamic State in Iraq.

Declaration of autonomy

In December 2011, the governing council in Diyala province declared itself a semi-autonomous region within Iraq.[11] This comes two months after Saladin Governorate made a similar declaration. The council in Diyala, using Article 119 of the Iraqi Constitution as justification, made the declaration because of suspicion of the Shi'a-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Unlike Salahuddin province however, Diyala province is more ethnically and religiously mixed, and such an announcement led to the outbreak of protests in the province.[12]

See also


  1. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2015-05-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Biggest Olive Groves in Middle East – in Diyala
  5. ^ COSIT (Central Organization for Statistics and Information Technology), Baghdad.
  6. ^ NGO Co-ordination Committee.
  7. ^ "Republic of iraq (IQ): Asia/Iraq/Diyala". Retrieved 2007-05-28.
  8. ^ Engel, Richard (December 27, 2006). "Reporting under al-Qaida control". Blogging Baghdad: The Untold Story. MSNBC. Retrieved 2007-05-28.
  9. ^ Engel, Richard (January 17, 2007). "Dangers of the Baghdad plan". Worldblog. MSNBC. Archived from the original on November 2, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-28.
  10. ^ "DoD Special Security Operations Briefing with Maj. Gen. Mixon from Iraq". News Transcript. U.S. Department of Defense. May 11, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-28.
  11. ^ "Iraq's Diyala province demands semi-autonomous status". Xinhua. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  12. ^ Hammoudi, Laith. "A second Iraqi province seeks autonomy from Baghdad". Miami Herald. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
2004 Baqubah bombing

The 2004 Baqubah bombing occurred next to a local market and a police station on 28 July 2004, in Baquba, Diyala Governor, targeting civilians that were lined up waiting to sign up as police volunteers. According to witnesses, a suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle into the queue outside the building and detonated the explosive charges. The force of the blast was huge and destroyed a minivan that was parked nearby, killing all 21 people inside. A total of 68 Iraqis perished in the attack and scores more were wounded. The city of Baqubah went on to become an important center for the Iraqi insurgency and was declared to be the center of operations for the Al-Qaeda in Iraq in late 2003 - early 2006, then it became a major location for Islamic State of Iraq , before US troops moved in and forced the group to relocate. It was the site of almost daily incidents, including major attacks in 2004-2005, 2008 and 2010.

2008 Baquba bombings

The 15 July 2008 Baquba bombings occurred at around 8am local time on 15 July 2008, in Baquba, Diyala Governorate, targeting army recruits at the al-Saad army camp. According to the Iraqi army, the bombers - one dressed in an Iraqi military uniform, the other in civilian clothing - mingled with the crowds of over 200 young recruits before blowing themselves up, killing 35 and injuring 63.

2009 Diyala governorate election

The Diyala governorate election of 2009 was held on 31 January 2009 alongside elections for all other governorates outside Iraqi Kurdistan and Kirkuk.

2013 Diyala governorate election

The Diyala Governorate election of 2013 was held on 20 April 2013 alongside elections for all other governorates outside Iraqi Kurdistan, Kirkuk, Anbar, and Nineveh.

2015 Khan Bani Saad bombing

A suicide car bombing occurred on 17 July 2015 in the Iraqi city of Khan Bani Saad, targeting a local marketplace. As of 19 July 2015 approximately 130 people were killed in the bombing, with a similar number of injured. Several people were killed by collapsed buildings. The bomb was hidden under an ice truck in an attempt to attract more people amid the heat. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Abu Sayda bombing

The Abu Sayda bombing was a chlorine car bombing attack that occurred on 15 May 2007, in an open-air market in the Iraqi Diyala Governorate village of Abu Sayda. The attack killed up to 45 people and wounded 60 more in the Shia village, the highest death toll of all chlorine bombings in Iraq. Iraqi and American military sources initially denied the use of chlorine.

Al Khalis District

Al Khalis District, Khalis or Al Khales is one of the six districts of Diyala Governorate in Iraq. Its main population center is the village of the same name. The village of Al Khalis is roughly 15 kilometers (9 mi) north of Baqubah.

The Khalis District houses the terrorist organization, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI, MEK, MKO) in Camp Ashraf. They are currently being protected by the U.S. military and Bulgarian Army, on Forward Operating Base Grizzly. Ashraf City residents are all considered as "protected persons," under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Ba'quba District

Ba'quba District is one of the districts of Diyala Governorate in Iraq. Its capital Baquba is the capital of Diyala Governate.

Balad Ruz

Balad Ruz (arabic: بلدروز) is a city in the Diyala Governorate of Iraq.

Balad Ruz has a radio station that was opened Dec. 18 2006, known as Al Noor Radio Station, meaning "The Light" in Arabic.

The current commander of all Iraqi Army ground forces Lt. General Ali Ghaidan Majid is from Balad Ruz.

Balad Ruz District

Balad Ruz District (Arabic: بلدروز‎) is a district of Diyala Governorate, Iraq. Cities and villages include Balad Ruz, Mandali, Turki Village, Fatamia, Kurkush, and Taweela. The district is predominantly Shia Arab and, near the Iranian border, Kurdish. Villages south of the capital experienced ethnic cleansing of Shia by Wahhabi terrorists during the Iraqi insurgency.

Diyala River

The Diyala River, is a river and tributary of the Tigris. It is formed by the confluence of Sirwan river and Tanjero river in Darbandikhan Dam in the Sulaymaniyah Governorate of Northern Iraq. It covers a total distance of 445 km (277 mi).


Eshnunna (modern Tell Asmar in Diyala Governorate, Iraq) was an ancient Sumerian (and later Akkadian) city and city-state in central Mesopotamia. Although situated in the Diyala Valley north-east of Sumer proper, the city nonetheless belonged securely within the Sumerian cultural milieu.

The tutelary deity of the city was Tishpak (Tišpak).

Hamrin Mountains

The Hamrin Mountains (Arabic: جبل حمرين Jabāl Hamrīn, Kurdish:چیای حەمرین Çiyayê Hemrîn or Çiyayên Hemrîn) are a small mountain ridge in northeast Iraq. The westernmost ripple of the greater Zagros mountains, the Hamrin mountains extend from the Diyala Governorate bordering Iran, northwest to the Tigris river, crossing northern Saladin Governorate and southern Kirkuk Governorate.

In antiquity, the mountains were part of the frontier region between Babylonia to the south and Assyria to the north. Today, the area forms part of the linguistic boundary between most of Arab people of Iraq and Kurdish people of Iraq in the north.

Khanaqin District

Khanaqin District (Kurdish: Xanaqîn), (Arabic: خانقين) is a district in Diyala Governorate of Iraq. It is considered a disputed territory in Northern Iraq between federal and regional government but is officially part of the Diyala province.

The Alwand River runs through Khanaqin District before joining the Diyala River.

The district population was estimated to be 175,000 in 2003. The population of the Judicial Center increased from 20,000 in 2003 to more than 160,000 in 2011-2010 Because of the stability of the security situation.The population of the region in 2017 is estimated at more than 300,000 ( The center of the district ) people and in the judiciary much more than 420,000 people and the district is more than 30% of the province of Diyala


Kifri (Arabic: كفري‎; Turkish: Kifri) is a Turkmen town in Iraq and the seat of Kifri District, in the north of the Diyala Governorate. The district’s population was about 42,010 in 2003. (source: 2003 - NGO Coordination Committee in Iraq)

Kifri District, Diyala Governorate

Kifri District (Arabic: قضاء كفري‎) is one of the six districts of Diyala Governorate in Iraq. Its main town is Kifri. The population was estimated at 42,010 in 2003.

Kifri District, Sulaymaniyah Governorate

The Kifri District (Arabic: كفري‎) is one of the fifteen supposed districts of Sulaymaniyah Governorate in Iraq. Its main town is Kifri. Most of the district is disputed, as the Kurdish government is falsely attempting to include the district in Sulaymaniyah Governorate, although it has always been part of the Diyala Governorate, and so overlaps with the adjacent Kifri District in the Diyala Governorate and Tooz District in the Saladin Governorate. However a small part of the district is recognised as part of the Sulaymaniyah Governorate in Kurdistan Region.

Lake Hamrin

Lake Hamrin, also known as Diyala Dam, is a man-made lake approximately 50 km north-east of the Baqubah, in Iraq's Diyala Governorate. The town of Hamrin sits on the western shore of the lake, both of which are at the southern tip of the Hamrin mountains.

It was established in 1981 as an artificial dam to hold over two billion cubic metres of water. It is a source of fish and also provides water for nearby date palm orchards and other farms.

In June 2008, it was reported that due to Iranian damming of the Alwand River, the lake had lost nearly 80% of its capacity.

Places adjacent to Diyala Governorate


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.