Nineveh Governorate

Nineveh Governorate
Coordinates: 36°0′N 42°28′E / 36.000°N 42.467°E / 36.000; 42.467Coordinates: 36°0′N 42°28′E / 36.000°N 42.467°E / 36.000; 42.467
Country  Iraq
Capital Mosul
  Governor Nofal Hammadi (al-Nahetha)
  Total 37,323 km2 (14,410 sq mi)
Population (2011[1])
  Total 3,270,422
  Density 88/km2 (230/sq mi)

Nineveh Governorate (Arabic: نینوى) is a governorate in northern Iraq that contains the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh. It was an integral part of Assyria from the 25th century BC to the 7th century AD, It has an area of 37,323 km2 (14,410 sq mi) and an estimated population of 2,453,000 people in 2003. Its chief city and provincial capital is Mosul, which lies across the Tigris river from the ruins of ancient Nineveh. Tal Afar is the second-biggest city. Before 1976, it was called Mosul Province and included the present-day Dohuk Governorate.

An ethnically, religiously and culturally diverse region, it has been subject to attacks by the terrorist organization known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, with Mosul being captured on 10 June 2014, and many places of worship and historic ruins and monuments destroyed.[2] A massive offensive to retake the city, dubbed Operation "We Are Coming, Nineveh" (قادمون يا نينوى; Qadimun Ya Naynawa), began in October 2016.[3][4]

Neighboring Iraqi regions are Dohuk Governorate to the north, Erbil Governorate to the east, Saladin Governorate to the south-east, and Al Anbar Governorate to the south. In the west it shares a border with Syria, mostly Al-Hasakah Governorate, and also Deir ez-Zor Governorate in the south.

Recent history and administration

Former governor al-Nujaifi 2014 in the Yezidian Academy, Hanover, Germany

Its two cities endured the 2003 Invasion of Iraq and emerged unscathed. In 2004, Mosul and Tal Afar were fierce between US-led Iraqi insurgency. The insurgents moved to Nineveh after the Battle of Fallujah in 2004.

After the invasion, the military of the province was led by (then Major General) David Petraeus of the 101st Airborne Division and later by (then Brigadier General) Carter Ham as the multi-national brigade for Iraq. During the American civil head of the local office of the Coalition Provisional Authority was a US Foreign Service Officer and former Kurdish refugee to the States. Mustafa administered her nominees on the provincial council and through members of the Kashmoula family.

In June 2004, Osama Kashmoula became the interim governor of the province and in September of the same year he was assassinated en route to Baghdad. He was succeeded as interim Governor by Duraid Kashmoula, who was elected governor in January 2005. Duraid Kashmoula resigned in 2009.[5] In April 2009, Atheel al-Nujaifi, a hardline Arab nationalist and member of Al-Hadba, became governor.[6] While al-Nujaifi's Arab Muttahidoon bloc lost its majority to the Kurdish Brotherhood and Coexistence Alliance List in the 2013 provincial election, al-Nujaifi was reelected as governor by a larger Sunni Arab coalition[7] that was later formalized as the Nahda Bloc.

In June 2014, insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known as ISIS or ISIL) overran the capital Mosul, forcing an estimated 500,000 refugees to flee the area,[8] including governor al-Nujaifi,[9] who was subsequently deposed by the Iraqi Parliament.[10]

While the Kurdish list proposed Hassan al-Allaf, an Arab affiliated with the Islamic Party,[11] the provincial council elected Nofal Hammadi (formerly Loyalty to Nineveh List) with the votes of the Nahdha bloc.[12]

An offensive to retake Mosul from ISIL control began in October 2016, with Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers supported by a U.S.-led coalition of 60 nations.[4]

Provincial elections

  Summary of the 20 June 2013 Ninawa governorate election results
Party/coalition Allied national parties Leader Seats Change Votes % ±%
Brotherhood and Coexistence Alliance List KDP
11 Decrease1 173,687 29.87% Increase2.39%
Muttahidoon al-Hadba
Iraqi Islamic Party
Usama al-Nujayfi 8 Decrease14 129,556 22.28% Decrease27.54%
Loyalty to Nineveh List Iraqi National Dialogue Front
Ghanim al-Baso
Saleh al-Mutlaq
Jamal al-Karbouli
4 66,517 11.44%
United Nineveh Abdullah al-Yawer 3 45,971 7.91%
Iraqi Construction and Justice Gathering Dildar Zebari 3 39,126 6.73%
Al Iraqia National and United Coalition Ayad Allawi 2 31,276 5.38%
Nineveh’s Bravery Coalition 1 23,361 4.02%
Nineveh’s National Alliance 1 22,734 3.91%
Oum Rabih Tribes’ National Gathering Hassan Khulayf 1 21,349 3.67%
Al Shabak Freemen Council 1 12,689 2.18%
Yazidi Movement for Reform and Progress 1 10,397 1.79% Increase1.17%
Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Gathering Coalition Gathered Force Movement
Chaldean National Council
Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council
Assyrian National Party
Rafidain List
National Bet-Nahrain Union
1 8,635 1.49%
Iraqi People’s Coalition 1 8,633 1.48%
Iraq’s Benevolence and Generosity List Dr Rushdi Said 1 8,076 1.39%
Iraqi Freemen Coalition
Iraq’s Advocates for State Support
Reformers Gathering
National Moderation Front
United National Christian Assembly
Iraq’s Unified Gathering Younis al-Rammah
Oum Rabih National Independent Gathering
United Democratic ِArabic Movement
Yuhanna Youssef Tuma Buta
Future Path for Yazidis Party
Free Yazidi Gathering
Yazidi Democratic Front
Yazidi Progress Party
Shabak Independent Party
Total 39 Increase2 581,449[13][14][15]

Human geography

Administrative districts

Districts of Nineveh

Nineveh Governorate comprises 30 districts, listed below with their areas[16] and populations as estimated in 2003:[17]

District Name
in Arabic
Area in
sq. km
in 2003
Sinjar سنجار 2,928 166,466
Al-Ba'aj البعاج 9,172 88,401
Al-Hadar (Hatra) الحضر 9,738 37,655
Al-Mosul الموصل 4,471 1,432,230
Tel Afar تلعفر 4,453 300,878
Tel Kaif تلكيف 1,244 167,647
Al-Hamdaniya الحمدانية 1,155 125,665
Al-Shikhan الشيخان 1,333 58,132
Total 37,323 2,453,116

Makhmur District, Aqrah District and the northern part of Al-Shikhan District were formerly part of Nineveh Governorate and currently under the Kurdistan Regional Government control, as Mosul has no control over these districts.. Now Makhmur District is part of Erbil Governorate. Aqrah District and the northern part of Al-Shikhan District are parts of Dohuk Governorate.


Nineveh Province is multiethnic. There are significant numbers of Arabs, Assyrians, Kurds, Turkmens as well as Yazidis both in towns and cities, and in their own specific villages and regions. There are also numbers of Armenians, Kawliya and Mandeans, Shabaks.

In religion, the majority of Arabs are Sunni Muslim while Turkmen are mostly Shi'ite. Kurds are largely Sunni Muslim, although some follow the native Yarsan religion and a few are Christians. Assyrians are exclusively Christian, with the, following either the Chaldean Catholic Church, Syriac Catholic Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, Assyrian Church of the East, or the Ancient Church of the East. Armenians are also exclusively Christian and mostly followers of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Yazidis, Shabaks and Mandeans follow their own religious beliefs: Shabakism, Yazidism, and Mandaeism. However, Arab Sunnis form a majority in the province.

The main language spoken is Arabic. Minority languages include Neo-Aramaic dialects spoken by the Assyrians, Kurdish (to include dialects of Kurmanji like Shengali), Shabaki, Turkman, Mandic and Armenian.

Proposed Assyrian autonomous region

Main article: Nineveh Plains

Many Assyrian leaders advocate an autonomous Assyrian homeland within Nineveh Province for the indigenous Assyrians. Most National Iraqi leaders have not taken this plan seriously, but it has a strong proponent in the Kurdistan Regional Government Minister of Finance Sarkis Aghajan, himself an Assyrian and a prominent figure in the Kurdish dominated government. Sarkis has claimed that the autonomous region he envisions would stretch from the Syrian border to the north at Faysh Khabur to Bakhdida. He says it would have its own parliament, executive council, constitution, budget, logo, and flag.[18]

See also

Notes and references

  2. al-Lami, Mina (21 July 2014). "Iraq: the minorities of Nineveh Plain". BBC World News. Archived from the original on 24 July 2014.
  3. "العبادي يطلق على عمليات تحرير نينوى تسمية "قادمون يا نينوى" أمن". Al Sumaria. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  4. 1 2 Winter, Charlie (20 October 2016). "How ISIS Is Spinning the Mosul Battle". The Atlantic. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  5. Parker, Ned (22 January 2009). "Iraq governor looks back on troubled tenure". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 13 February 2012.
  6. Sly, Liz (23 June 2009). "In Nineveh, tensions between Iraqi Kurds and Arabs simmer". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 13 February 2012.
  7. Abdullah Salem (22 August 2013). "Voter's Revolution in Ninawa – Local minorities take over Provincial government". Niqash. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015.
  8. Robertson, Nic & Smith-Spark, Laura (11 June 2014). "Fresh off Mosul victory, militants in Iraq wrest control of Tikrit". CNN. Archived from the original on 12 June 2014.
  9. "Iraqi insurgents 'seize new city'". BBC News. 11 June 2014. Archived from the original on 11 June 2014.
  10. Hamza Mustafa (29 May 2015). "Iraq: Nineveh governor sacked following ISIS advances". Asharq al-Awsat. Archived from the original on 11 February 2016.
  11. "Member of Nineveh's Council: Two Candidates For The Post Of The Governor And Negotiations To Select One Of Them". NINA. 21 June 2015. Archived from the original on 17 February 2016.
  12. "Nofal Hammadi of al-Nahetha bloc elected as Governor of Nineveh succeeding al-Nujaifi". Shafaq. 5 October 2015. Archived from the original on 17 February 2016.
  13. Ali, Ahmed. "2013 Iraq Update #25: The Ninewa and Anbar Elections and the future of Iraq's Sunni Leadership". Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  14. "Ninewa Final Results" (PDF). Independent High Electoral Commission. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  15. "IHEC list of political coalitions" (PDF) (in Arabic). Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  16. COSIT (Central Organization for Statistics and Information Technology), Baghdad.
  17. NGO Co-ordination Committee.
  18. Mindy Belz (29 September 2008). "Demanding full autonomy". World. Archived from the original on 17 February 2016.

Further reading

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