In ancient times, Basra was the port from which Sinbad the Sailor departed on his voyages. Located in the marsh area of southern Iraq (on the Arabian Gulf), this city of date palms, distinctive architecture and canals has a lovely Corniche promenade along the Shatt Al-Arab River. An excursion boat ride on the river is usually the highlight of a visit to Basra.

The town was extensively damaged in the Shia rebellions following the first Gulf War in 1991, and the city center remains dilapidated. Nearby is Querna. Basra is located 275 mi/440 km southeast of Baghdad.

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