Two lines of steamers, an English and a Turkish, furnish an inadequate service between Basra and Bagdad, but there is no steam navigation on the river above the latter city.
The first of these canals, taken off on the right bank of the river a little below Hit, followed the extreme skirt of the alluvium the whole way to the Persian Gulf near Basra, and thus formed an outer barrier, strengthened at intervals with watch-towers and fortified posts, to protect the cultivated land of the Sawad against the incursions of the desert Arabs.
Dholahtaf, but is now known as the Cherra-Saadeh, and is in the popular tradition said to have been excavated by a man from Basra at the behest of a woman of Hit whom he desired to make his wife.
From Garmat Ali, where the Tigris and Euphrates at present unite,' under the title of Shattel-Arab, the river sweeps on to Basra, Ex p o yds.
From Korna to Basra the banks of the river are well cultivated and the date groves almost continuous; indeed this is the greatest date-producing region of the world.