Khanaqin, town, NE Iraq, near the Iranian border, on a tributary of the Diyala. It is located in an oil-producing region and has an oil refinery. Khanaquin was severely affected by the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.

Khanaqin Kurdish خانه قين,Xaneqîn (Arabic خانقين, , also transliterated as Khanakin, Xanaqin) is a city in eastern Iraq, south of Kurdish regions. It is located at 34.3°N, 45.4°E in the Diyala Governorate, near the Iranian border on a tributary of the Diyala River.

Khanaqin is the seat of the Khanaqin Municipality. This Municipality contains several cities such as As-Sadiyah and Jalula and hundreds of villages. Its population has been estimated to 175,000 inhabitants, however, the real figure is never known due to the policy of the Iraqi regime.

Khanaqin is divided into two parts by the Alwand River, this river has played a significant role in land cultivation and in establishment of a strong rural society in the area. The river is considered by the people of Khanaqin as a symbol for their unity and Kurdish identity.


The majority of people of Khanaqin are Kurds of Fayli branch . They speak the Kalhuri and Gurani dialects which are Indo-Europan and belong to Iranic (Aryan) group. These dialects are closely related to each other and called Feyli or Xanaqini by the locals.


Khanaqin's original name was Du-Khanag and was a part of the Persian Empire for centuries. The name Du-Khānag (دوخانگ) means "Two Houses" in Persian. After the Arabic invasion of Persia, the occupiers Arabicized many of the local names and also omitted the word du (two) from this name and attached the Arabic suffix of dualis after the name, hence Du-khānag became Khānag-ayn and Khanaqin.

During the Arabization policy of the Iraqi Ba'th regime Sunni Arabs were settled in the city and at least 9,000 Kurds were killed and a larger number were forcibly removed and sent to southern Iraq or the Kurdish controlled north. The Iraqi Property Claims Commission has an office in Khanaqin to deal with the land disputes this policy generated now that Kurds have been allowed to return to their homes.

In 9/6/2006 all the members of the city council of Khanaqin demanded that the city be separated from the control of the Diyala governorate and be allowed to join the Autonomous Kurdistan region. In December 2007 a referendum was scheduled to be held about including the city to the Kurdish controlled north. However, this referendum has been postponed for up to six months.

Oil fields

The Naft Khana oil field is capable of producing up to of sweet light crude from an oil reserve that is also being tapped by Iran. Repairs to the oil plant were completed in March 2006 which restored it to its pre-war condition. The main elements affected were the gas-oil separation facility and the wet crude facility (which separates oil from water). Trucks currently transport oil to the Al Daura refinery in Baghdad. A oil refinery has been approved for construction in Khanaqin and oil from Naft Khana will be sent there when it is complete.

Famous people from Xaneqin

External links and references


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