Nahla, Iraq

This article is about the region in Iraq. For the moshav in Israel, see Nahala, Israel.

Nahla Valley (Syriac: ܢܗܠܐ), is a geographic region located in the provinces of Nineveh and Dohuk, Iraq. The Sapna valley lies to the north and is separated by a mountain range, and the city of Aqra is to the south, separated by another mountain range. It is bound by the Greater Zab River to the east, and the Khazir River to the west. The region is mainly inhabited by Assyrians, with Kurds present as well.


Most of the Assyrians living in Nahla, which number around 20,000, moved there from Hakkari after the Assyrian Genocide that occurred during the First World War. However, Some villages were emptied in the 1960s when fights between the Iraqi government and Kurdish separatists forced most of their inhabitants to flee to Baghdad and Mosul. Some scarcely populated villages were completely destroyed later on during the Anfal campaign in the 1980s as well. The population of the valley grew considerably following the Iraq War, as many Assyrians living in Dora and Mosul started settling back in the region.

There is significant friction between the Kurds and Assyrians in the valley, with a history of violence, land squatting, and voting suppression since the establishment of Iraqi Kurdistan.[1] On July 17, 1999 an armed group belonging to the Patriotic Revolutionary Organization of Bet Nahrain attacked a PDK Peshmerga position in the region in retaliation for the murder of an Assyrian girl. The attack resulted in 39 deaths and 20 injured on the Kurdish side.[2]


See also


Coordinates: 36°50′N 43°56′E / 36.833°N 43.933°E / 36.833; 43.933 (Nahla)

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