Description of the main towns by The British in 1914.


Busra is situated 67 miles from the sea, on the right bank of the Shatt-el-­Arab. The Shatt-el-Arab is formed by the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates near Qurnah.  The population of Busra, including suburbs, numbers about 60,000, mostly composed of sedentary Arabs. There are some Europeans and Indians, about 3,000 Persians and 1,000 Jews. 

Zubair.-This town, the site of Old Busra, stands in the desert, nine miles to the south-west of the modem Busra, and is the market for the surrounding Bedouin tribes.

Qurnah -A town of 5,000 inhabitants on the right bank of the Tigris. Following the river it is 45 miles north-west of Busra, situated at the junction of the Tigris and the former channel of the Euphrates.

Amara A place of 10,000 inhabitants, 31 miles north of Qurnah on the Tigris. Caravan routes lead to Kut and the Persian passes

Kut-el-Amara. A place of 4,000 inhabi­tants and the centre of a considerable grain traffic; 285 miles north-west from Busra, following the winding of the river Tigris.

Nasirirah A comparatively modern town of some 10,000 inhabitants on the left bank of the Euphrates, about 115 miles from Busra. 

Bagdad.-The largest city of eastern Turkey in Asia, the population being estimated at about 140,000, of whom some 55,000 are Jews.  It is on the Tigris river, and about 24 miles from the nearest point on the Euphrates.  Before the war there was a large European colony, chiefly British, a fine hospital, French Carmelite schools, a Jewish high school, and a branch of the Church Missionary Society.  Bagdad is about 500 miles from Busra by the river route.  

Kuwait.-The town Kuwait lies on the southern shore of Kuwait . Bay, 107 miles south and slightly east of Busra.  It has an excellent and flourishing harbour, superior to the river facilities at Busra, and for this reason Kuwait was desired' by the promoters of the Bagdad railway project as a terminus.  The Shaikh of Kuwait is an independent ruler, having treaty relations with the British.