The UN reports that the southern marshlands of Iraq, long the home of the "marsh Arabs", have been drained. Some 95 percent of the marshes are now dry land and the rebellious marsh Arabs have been pacified. The draining of the marshes destroyed the livelihood of the rebellious locals. The new dry land is also on the border of Kuwait and Iran, making it easier for Iraq to move against either nation. At the same time. Iraq can blow the dams and halt any invasion from Iran. Iraqi engineers worked through the late 1990s to drain the marshes and remove the swampy hiding places of the 500,000 rebellious marsh Arabs. Now, for the first time in 5,000 years, most of the marsh Arabs are refugees.