Kuwait is a sovereign Arab emirate of 20,000 square kilometres, situated on the northwestern shore of the Persian Gulf. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and Iraq to the north. The fifth richest country in the world by GDP per capita, most of its wealth comes from oil.
The name Kuwait comes from the Arabic "akwat", meaning fortresses built near water. Around 2.9 million people live in Kuwait. The land is mostly desert, and has no natural lakes or water reservoirs.
After allying with Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War, Kuwait was invaded and annexed by Iraq under Saddam Hussein on 2 August 1990. The annexation led to the first Gulf War.
Basra is a city in the south of Iraq with a population of 3.8 million, making it the third largest city in the country. It is Iraq's main port, although it does not have deep water access.
The Shatt al-Arab (the coast of the Arabs) is a river formed by the confluence of the Euphrates and the Tigris, which flows through Basra and into the Persian Gulf. The last stretch forms the border between Iraq and Iran.