Zakho (Kurdish: Zaxo, زاخو; Arabic: زاخو; Syriac-Aramaic: ܙܟܼܘ) is a district and a town in Iraqi Kurdistan located a few kilometers from the Iraqi-Turkish border in the Dohuk Governorate. The city has 200,000 inhabitants. It may have originally begun on a small island in the Little Khabur which currently flows through the city. The Khabur River flows west of Zakho to form the border between Kurdistan and Turkey and flows into the Tigris. The most important rivers in the district of Zakho are: the Zeriza river, the Seerkotik river and the Little Khabur river.
There are several theories concerning the derivation of the name "Zakho". Some Aramaic sources maintain that the name comes from the Aramaic "Zakhota" (victory), after the battle fought between the Romans and the Persians near the city, which resulted in a Roman victory.
Another version maintains that the name comes from the Kurdish words "Zey- Khowin" ("river of blood"), possibly referring to the same battle.
A third opinion attributes the name to the Kurdish "Zey" (river) and "Khowak" (a curved place which blocks the water).
The town of Zakho was already known to the ancient Greeks. In 1844. the traveller William Francis Ainsworth commented: "The appearance of Zakho in the present day coincides in a remarkable manner with what it was described to be in the time of Xenophon."
Gertrude Bell was convinced that Zakho was same place as the ancient town of Hasaniyeh. She also reported that the first Christian missionary to the region, the Dominican monk Poldo Soldini, was buried there in 1779. His grave was still a pilgrimage destination in the 1950s.