Kuwait is situated at the western head of the Persian (or Arabian) Gulf. Its area is estimated at about 17,820 sq km (6,880 sq mi). Comparatively, the area occupied by Kuwait is slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey. Kuwait extends 205 km (127 mi) SE – NW and 176 km (109 mi) NE – SW . Islands that form part of Kuwait include Faylakah (an archaeological site that is the only inhabited island), Bubiyan, Maskan, 'Auha, Al-Warbah, Al-Kubr, Umm al-Maradim, Umm al-Nami, and Qaruh. Bounded on the E by the Persian Gulf, on the S and W by Sa'udi Arabia, and on the NW and N by Iraq, Kuwait has a total land boundary length of 462 km (287 mi) and a coastline of 499 km (310 mi).
Kuwait's boundary with Iraq remains unsettled. Following Kuwait's declaration of independence in June 1961, the emir requested UK assistance to ward off an Iraqi invasion; the British forces were later replaced by troops from Arab League states. The UN upheld Kuwait's sovereignty, and in October 1963, Iraq formally recognized Kuwait's independence. In March 1973 there were armed clashes on the Iraq-Kuwait border, but a settlement was announced in June 1975; negotiations to demarcate the border have continued intermittently. Again in August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, asserting their right to reclaim it as their territory. US-led international forces responded with a massive air attack in January 1991, and Iraq was defeated. Some Iraqi officials continued to assert their claim to Kuwait, and relations between the two countries remained tense. On 27 May 1993, the UN Security Council reaffirmed the established border between the two nations. In 1994, Iraq formally accepted the UN-demarcated border but continues to periodically challenge the rhetoric of the agreement.
Kuwait's capital, Kuwait City, is located on the Persian Gulf coast.