Ninawa (Arabic: نینوى, Kurdish: Neynewa, Aramaic: ܢܝܢܘܐ Nîněwâ) is a governorate (province) in northern Iraq, and the Arabic name for the biblical city of Nineveh in Assyria. It has an area of and an estimated population of 2,453,000 people in 2003. Its chief city and the 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. Prior to 1976 it was called Mosul Province and also included the present day Dahuk Governorate
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 U.S.-led troops and the Iraqi insurgency. The insurgents had moved to Ninawa 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 BG Carter Ham as commander of the multi-national brigade for northern Iraq. During the American occupation, the civil government was led by the head of the local office of the Coalition Provisional Authority Herro Mustafa, a US Foreign Service Officer and former Kurdish refugee to the United States. She administered the province through her nominees on the provincial council and in particular various 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.
Note that Akra and Shekan are currently under the Kurdistan Regional Government control, as Mosul has no control over these two districts.