Kuwait, an Arab state with a population of about 3.5 million people is in the northeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. Kuwait is situated on the Persian Gulf. The size of Kuwait is 17,820 square kilometers (6,880 sq mi). The first Arab settlers in Kuwait were the Bani Utbah tribe. Kuwait was influenced by the Ottoman Empire by the 19th century. After World War I, Kuwait was an independent sheikhdom being protected by Britain. In the late 1930's, Kuwait was discovered to have large oil fields.
In 1961, Kuwait broke free of the United Kingdom. Its oil industry was now teaming with growth. In 1990, Kuwait was invaded by Iraq. When United States led forces came to help, the seven month long Iraqi occupation ended. As the Iraq army left, they torched about 773 oil wells which caused environmental and economic catastrophe. The damaged infrastructure had to be reformed.
Kuwait's government is a parliamentary system and is a constitutional emirate. Kuwait City is the political and economical capital. 80% of the government's income is derived from oil reserves and petroleum products.
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