Kurdish army plan heightens Iraq tension

BAGHDAD, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Plans by President Massoud Barzani of Iraq's semiautonomous Kurdish enclave to merge the military forces of the two main Kurdish parties, known as "peshmerga," or those who face death, into a unified army is antagonizing the Kurds' Arab rivals.
Gates says more sanctions on Iran likely

Gates says more sanctions on Iran likely

KIRKUK, Iraq, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Iran likely will be slapped with tougher sanctions because it still is shielding its nuclear program from inspectors, U.S. Defense chief Robert Gates said.
Kurdish leader pleads for EU investment

Kurdish leader pleads for EU investment

BRUSSELS, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- The president of Iraq's Kurdistan region says the European Union should assist it in setting up its health, judicial and educational systems.

Turkey, Iraq Kurd relations said improving

ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Ankara and the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdish area are close to reconciliation after years of hostility, Iraq Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said.

Kurdish government faces test of unity

ERBIL, Iraq, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- The president of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq is moving to form a new ruling coalition as splits emerge among members of the opposition.

Biden talks oil in Iraqi Kurdistan

ERBIL, Iraq, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Kurdish leaders in Iraq welcomed U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to discuss outstanding issues with the central government regarding national oil wealth.

Kurdish groups may call for conference

ANKARA, Turkey, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- The main pro-Kurdish party in Turkey plans to discuss the so-called Kurdish question and push for a broader conference to tackle the issue with Iraqi leaders.

Iraq and Kurdish leaders set meeting

BAGHDAD, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Leaders of Iraq and the Kurdish semiautonomous region have agreed to meet to try to resolve disputes over land and oil, Iraqi officials said Sunday.
Gates offers Kurds aid to resolve disputes

Gates offers Kurds aid to resolve disputes

ERBIL, Iraq, July 29 (UPI) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates offered help to Kurdish leaders in Iraq Wednesday to try to resolve disputes with Iraq's central government, an aide said.

Talabani talks security with KRG

ERBIL, Iraq, April 1 (UPI) -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani traveled to a resort town in northern Iraq on Wednesday to discuss political developments with his Kurdish counterpart.

Merkel welcomes Kurdish President Barzani

BERLIN, March 4 (UPI) -- The president of the Kurdistan Regional Government embarked on the second leg of his European tour with a visit Wednesday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Barzani praises Iraqi elections

ERBIL, Iraq, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- The people and politicians of Iraq should respect the results of the provincial elections, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government said.

Kurds pay heavy price, 3 killed in blast

BAGHDAD, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- More than 2,000 Kurdish militiamen have been killed in Iraq by al-Qaida Mesopotamia over the past five years, Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani says.

Barzani describes Mosul as harmonious

MOSUL, Iraq, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The northern Iraqi city of Mosul is an example of the multicultural heritage of Iraq and a symbol of regional tolerance, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan said.

Talabani in Erbil on Kirkuk talks

ERBIL, Iraq, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani met officials with the Kurdistan Regional Government to discuss the status of the disputed Iraqi city of Kirkuk, officials said.
Page 3 of 8
Massoud Barzani
U.S. President George W. Bush (R) shakes hands with Kurdish President Massoud Barzani after a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on October 29, 2008. (UPI Photo/Matthew Cavanaugh/POOL)

Massoud Barzani (Kurdish: مسعود بارزانی; Arabic: مسعود بارزاني‎; born 16 August 1946) is the current President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party. Barzani was born in Mahabad, Iran, during the rule of the Republic of Mahabad. He has five sons (incl. Masrour) and three daughters.

Massoud Barzani succeeded his father, the former Kurdish nationalist leader Mustafa Barzani, as the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in 1979. Working closely with his brother Idriss Barzani until Idriss' death, Barzani and various other Kurdish groups fought Baghdad during the Iran-Iraq War. For much of this time, the Kurdish leadership was exiled to Iran.

With Saddam Hussein's defeat in the first Gulf War, Kurdish forces were able to retake much of the traditional homeland of the Kurds in Iraq. However, as Iraqi forces regrouped they pushed the Kurdish fighters back and hundreds of thousands of civilians fled to the mountains bordering Iran and Turkey, where thousands died under heavy fire from Iraqi gunships and many more succumbed to starvation and exposure. United States-led allies started Operation Provide Comfort to establish a safe zone within Iraq. This zone, protected by a no-fly zone, eventually developed into an autonomous Kurdish zone under the control of the two dominant Kurdish political parties, the KDP led by Massoud Barzani and the PUK led by Jalal Talabani. This zone incorporated most of the three governorates of Duhok, Hewler, and Silemani.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Massoud Barzani."
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