Nasriye [variants: Nasariya, Nasriyah, Nasiriyah, Nasrie, Nasiriyeh, Nasiriyah] is a provincial capital, SE Iraq, on the Euphrates River. It is the center of a date-growing region. Founded in 1870, the ruins of Ur are nearby. The British occupation of southern Iraq (the Basrah vilayet) was completed with the capture of Amarah and Nasiriyah in the summer of 1915.
Ambitious contracts were made shortly before the Kuwait crisis for oilfield development in South Iraq, a gas pipeline to be laid from Al Nasiriyah to Baghdad, and build the Al-Yussefiyah thermal power plant and a number of other projects. The Al-Nasiriyah-Baghdad gas pipeline construction is nearing completion (total length 345 km). During the Gulf War, both of the Baiji plants in northern Iraq as well as the refineries at Basrah, Daura, and Nasiriyah were severely damaged. This cut Iraq's refining capacity to around 60,000 bbl/d in March 1991. While much of Iraq's refinery capacity appears to have been restored by 1993, several of the smaller refineries, namely the 27,000-bbl/d Kirkuk and the 27,000-bbl/d Nasiriyah plants, were cannibalized for parts to repair damage at Baiji, Basrah, and Daura, which was expanded in 1994.
Built in the late 1970s, the An Nasiriyah Southwest Ammunition Storage Point [SW ASP] is located southwest of the city of An Nasiriyah and approximately 8 km to the northeast of Tallil Air Base. It is similar to the Khamisiyah ASP, which is located approximately 25 km to the southeast, in area and number of storage buildings. During the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, Iraq's An Nasiriyah SW ASP was a major Iraqi munitions depot. During the 1990-1991 period, the national intelligence community associated the storage of chemical or biological munitions with the types of bunkers found at An Nasiriyah: specifically, S-shaped bunkers. Five of these were struck by air-delivered ordnance and, by February 3, 1991, had been either heavily damaged or destroyed. The intelligence community now believes that the pre-war assessments of which bunker types were used to store chemical or biological munitions were inaccurate, and that during Desert Storm, the bunkers at the An Nasiriyah Southwest ASP probably did not contain chemical or biological munitions. However, another type of bunker at An Nasiriyah "likely" did contain mustard filled artillery rounds at the time of the aerial bombing. In 1996, in accordance with United Nations Resolution 687, Iraq declared that more than 6,000 155mm mustard-filled artillery rounds had been stored in bunker number 8 at this facility from approximately January 15, 1991, to February 15, 1991. Iraq stated they moved the rounds prior to US occupation.
Government water control projects have drained most of the inhabited marsh areas east of An Nasiriyah by drying up or diverting the feeder streams and rivers. A once sizable population of Shi'a Muslims, who have inhabited these areas for thousands of years, has been displaced. Furthermore, the destruction of the natural habitat poses serious threats to the area's wildlife populations.
As of 1998 the Iraqi National Congress claimed to have the support of Iran and Tehran-backed muslim guerilla leaders ready to start an insurgency in three key cities of southern Iraq -- Amara, Nasriyah and Basra.