Massoud Barzani Fast Facts – CNN

Father: General Mustafa Barzani, was chief of the military of the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad

Mother: Hamayil Khan

Marriage: Married (name unavailable publicly)

Children: Eight children

Religion: Sunni Muslim

Other Facts

Fluent in Kurmanji (Kurdish), Arabic, Farsi (Persian) and English.

Leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) since 1979.

The KDP has an estimated 10,000 fighters and controls the northwestern part of Iraqi Kurdistan along the border of Syria, Turkey and Iran.

Barzani was born on the same day that the KDP was founded in 1946.


1962 – Quits school to join the Peshmerga (Kurdish fighters).

1961-1975 – The Kurds fight the Iraqi government in a quest for autonomy within Iraq.

1970 – Is a member of the Kurdish delegation in talks with the government of Baghdad seeking a peace accord authorizing Kurdish self-government. An agreement is reached between Iraqi government and Kurds granting some autonomy.

June 1975 – Former leader Jalal Talabani leaves the KDP to form the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), forcing a reorganization of the KDP.

1979 Escapes an assassination attempt in Vienna, Austria.

1979 – Elected president of the KDP after the death of his father.

1994 – The Kurds in northern Iraq are divided into eastern and western political factions. Barzani is…

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