Other Free Encyclopedias » 21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia » 21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Barley to Bellows, George Wesley

Basra

port iraq century ashr

Basra (pop. 620,000), city and major port in Iraq, situated on the Shatt-al-Arab River, about 75 mi (120 km) from the Persian Gulf. The actual port is the suburb of Al'Ashr, the old town of Basra being 2 mi (3 km) away. The third part of Basra is the modern port of Ma'quil, 4 mi (6 km) above Ashr and accessible to seagoing vessels. Oil is exported through the pipeline terminus at Fao, about 4 mi (6 km) downstream, where there is also a refinery. The other main industry is the packing and export of dates. Under the rule of the Abbasid family in the 8th century, and until its conquest by the Mongols in the 13th century, Basra was a center of Arabic culture noted for its mosques and library. The city was heavily damaged during the war with Iran in the 1980s and during the Gulf War (1991).

See also: Iraq.

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