Nineveh Province

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Nineveh Governorate
Ninawa Province
Location of 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 Atheel al-Nujaifi
 • Total 37,323 km2 (14,410 sq mi)
Population (2011 [1])
 • Total 3,270,400

Nineveh Governorate (Arabic: نینوىNīnawā, Kurdish: Neynewa, Syriac: ܢܝܢܘܐ Nīnwē), is a governorate in northern Iraq, which contains the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh. It has an area of 37,323 square kilometres (3.7323×1010 m2) 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 also a major city within the region. Before 1976, it was called Mosul Province and included the present-day Dohuk Governorate.

Recent history and administration[edit]

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

After the US invasion in 2003, the military government of the province was led initially by (then Lieutenant General) David Petraeus as commander of the 101st Airborne Division and later by (then Brigadier General) Carter Ham as commander of the multi-national brigade for northern Iraq. During the American occupation, the civil government was under Herro Mustafa, the head of the local office of the Coalition Provisional Authority. She was a US Foreign Service Officer and former Kurdish refugee to the United States. Mustafa administered the province through 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.[2] In April 2009, Atheel al-Nujaifi, a hardline Arab nationalist and member of Al-Hadba, became governor.[3]


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

In religion, the majority of Kurds, Arabs are Sunni Muslim while Turkmen are mostly Shi'ite, Assyrians and Armenians are exclusively Christian, and Yazidis, Shabaks following their own religious beliefs. Ninawa is a Sunni-majority province.

The main languages spoken are Arabic, Neo-Aramaic, Kurdish, South Azeri, Shabaki and Armenian.

Provincial politics[edit]

Provincial elections[edit]

Since no real census has been taken for decades, the election results are the only indicator of the province's ethnic distribution. It should be noted that many Assyrians and Yazidis claim that ballot papers were denied them; in addition, many members of ethnic groups voted for mainstream parties or ethnic parties that were attached to mainstream Arab or Kurdish led parties.[4]

2005 December[edit]

  • Sunni Arab Group, 324,518 (47%)
  • Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan, 156,476 (19%)
  • Allawi's Multi-ethnic Group, 91,661 (11%)
  • Sunni/Assyrian Group, 81,976 (10%)
  • Shia Arab Group, 61,083 (7%)
  • Yezidi Group, 18,618 (1%)
  • Assyrian Group, 12,323 (1%)

2005 January[edit]

  • Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan, 42,000
  • Shia Group, 23,000
  • Sunni Group, 56,000
  • Allawi's Multi-ethnic Group, 21,000
  • Assyrian Group, 3,500
  • Yezidi Group, 3,200
  • Turkman Group, 1,800

Proposed Assyrian Autonomous Region[edit]

Many Assyrians leaders are pressing for an autonomous region in Nineveh. The plan has not been taken seriously by national Iraqi leaders but has a strong proponent in Kurdistan Regional Government Minister of Finance Sarkis Aghajan, himself an Assyrian and a prominent figure in the Kurdish government. Minister Sarkis has claimed that the autonomous region he envisions would stretch from the Syrian border to the north at Fishkabor to Hamdaniyah. He says it will have its own parliament, executive council, constitution, budget, logo, and flag.[5]



Akra and the northern part of Shekan are currently under the Kurdistan Regional Government control, as Mosul has no control over these districts.[citation needed]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Parker, Ned (22 January 2009). "Iraq governor looks back on troubled tenure". Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California). Archived from the original on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  3. ^ Sly, Liz (23 June 2009). "In Nineveh, tensions between Iraqi Kurds and Arabs simmer". Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California). Archived from the original on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Iraqi Community in San Diego California: Discussion of the 2005 Iraqi Election,
  5. ^ "Demanding full autonomy". 2009-01-30. Retrieved 01-10-2008. 

See also[edit]