(CNN) -

Here's a look at the country of Iraq which borders Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran and the Persian Gulf.

About Iraq: (from the CIA World Factbook) Area: 438,317 sq km

Population: 32,585,692 (July 2014 est.)

Median age: 21.5 years

Capital: Baghdad

Ethnic Groups: Arab 75%-80%, Kurdish 15%-20%, Turkoman, Assyrian, or other 5%

Religion: Muslim (official) 99% (Shia 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian 0.8%

GDP: $249.4 billion (2013 est.)

GDP per capita: $7,100 (2013 est.)

Unemployment: 16% (2012 est.)

Other Facts: In ancient times, the area comprising Iraq was known as Mesopotamia and gave rise to some of the world's first civilizations.

One of the religious minorities in Iraq is the Yazidi. Throughout the Middle East, Yazidi number between 200,000 and one million. Approximately 500,000 live in Iraq, mostly in the north. Their beliefs draw from aspects of Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism.

Chaldean Christians are another minority religious group in Iraq. They number approximately 500,000, down from over one million prior to 2003.

Timeline: 1921 - After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, Great Britain gains control of the area. It sets up a government in Mesopotamia and renames the country Iraq.

1924 - The new Constitutional Assembly of Iraq meets to consider the Anglo-Iraq treaty. The treaty would compel Iraq to honor all agreements made by Great Britain previously, including oil concessions. In order to compel Iraq to accept the treaty, Great Britain threatens to withdraw and leave Iraq vulnerable to Saudi Arabia or Turkey. The treaty is ratified.

October 3, 1932 - Iraq becomes an independent nation with Baghdad as its capital, and is admitted to the League of Nations.

1943-1945 - Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani leads an uprising, gaining control of areas of Irbil and Badinan. When the uprising is defeated, Barzani and his forces retreat to Kurdish areas in Iran and align with nationalist fighters under the leadership of Qazi Muhammad.

March 22, 1945 - Iraq becomes a founding member of the Arab League.

December 21, 1945 - Iraq becomes a member of the United Nations.

July 14, 1958 - King Faisal is killed in a coup led by Abdul Karim Kassem.

October 1959 - A group, including Saddam Hussein, attacks the motorcade of Abdul Karim Kassem. The assassination attempt fails and most of the attackers are killed. Hussein escapes and flees to Syria.

February 1963 - Kassem is overthrown and executed. The Baath Party assumes control of the government. Hussein returns from Cairo, Egypt. The new Baath government is overthrown before the end of the year.

July 17, 1968 - In a coup, Major General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr of the Baath party becomes Iraq's new president. Saddam Hussein becomes the secretary and acting deputy chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council.

October 1973 - Iraq fights Israel in the Yom Kippur war.

March 6, 1975 - Saddam Hussein and Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi of Iran meet to discuss a treaty. The Algiers Accord is signed by both countries later in the year.