Map showing Baqubah north of Baghdad
Country  Iraq
Province Diyala
Population (2003 est)
  Total 467,900

Baqubah (Aramaic: ܒܰܩܽܘܒܰܐ, Arabic: بعقوبة; BGN: Ba‘qūbah; also spelled Baquba and Baqouba) is the capital of Iraq's Diyala Governorate. The city is located some 50 km (31 mi) to the northeast of Baghdad, on the Diyala River. In 2003 it had an estimated population of some 467,900 people.

Baqubah served as a way station between Baghdad and Khorasan on the medieval Silk Road. During the Abbasid Caliphate, it was known for its date and fruit orchards, irrigated by the Nahrawan Canal. Situated on the main road and rail routes between Baghdad and Iran it is a centre of trade for agricultural produce. It is now known as the centre of Iraq's commercial orange groves.


Baqubah's name originates from the Aramaic words "Bet" (house) and "Yaqub" (Jacob) and means "Jacob's house"[1] The city was used as a refugee camp for Assyrian refugees fleeing the Assyrian Genocide.[2] A refugee camp was set up outside the city, which accommodated between 40,000 and 50,000 refugees.[3]

Recent history

During the course of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, Baquba emerged as the scene of some of the heaviest guerrilla activity, along with the Sunni enclaves of Fallujah and Ramadi. It was the site of the heaviest fighting during the June 24, 2004, insurgent offensive. Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, took responsibility for the attacks.

In a setback for insurgents, Iraqi and U.S. officials confirmed on June 8, 2006, that al-Zarqawi had been killed in an airstrike and subsequent raid 8 km (5.0 mi) north of Baquba.[4] During late 2006, however, Baqubah and much of Diyala province were reported to have come under Sunni insurgent control.[5] On January 3, 2007 the previous Iraqi government in Baquba was reported to have fallen, leaving the city in the hands of insurgents fighting against the American led coalition in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In January 2007, it was reported that Sunni insurgents were able to kidnap the mayor and blow up his office, despite promises from American and Iraqi military officials that the situation in the city was "reassuring and under control".[6] The city at its peak had over 460,000 residents, but a February 2007 report labeled the city a "ghost town" as residents either fled criminal and sectarian violence or remained in hiding at home.[7]

On August 10, 2015 a suicide car bombing near Baqubah killed 30 and wounded 40 people. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

Attacks during Iraq war

The following is a list of deadly attacks in the city including the death of al-Zarqawi and after.[8]

Operation Arrowhead Ripper

On June 19, 2007, U.S. forces launched a large-scale operation against Iraqi militants in Baquba. The offensive, Operation Arrowhead Ripper, involved approximately 10,000 coalition soldiers.[11]

See also


  1. John Pike. "Ba?qubah [Baqubah]". Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  2. "Ba'qubah". Global Security. Archived from the original on September 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
  3. Austin, H. H. (2006). The Baqubah Refugee Camp: An Account of Work on Behalf of the Persecuted Assyrian Christians. Georgias Press. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
  4. "BBC NEWS - Middle East - Zarqawi killed in Iraq air raid". Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  5. "Reporting under al-Qaida control". Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 8, 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
  7. "Lawlessness turns Baquba into ghost town". Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  9. "SSG David S. Perry". Honored MPs. The Anniston Star. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  11. "U.S. military launches operation against al Qaeda in Iraq". CNN. 19 June 2007. Archived from the original on June 18, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-19.

Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 33°45′N 44°38′E / 33.750°N 44.633°E / 33.750; 44.633

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