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On Dec. 27, construction began on a $2 billion project to create a new city outside of Baghdad. Construction of the 30,000 housing units has started, with two Chinese firms as the lead contractors.

Bloomberg reports that this construction is part of a plan to build five new cities across the country, with more to be announced next year.

The contractors are East China Engineering Science and Technology Co., Ltd. and China National Chemical Engineering Co., Ltd, who are working with the Iraqi firm Shams Al-Binaa.