Massoud Barzani Fast Facts

(CNN)Here is a look at the life of Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Iraq.


Birth date: August 16, 1946
Birth place: Mahabad, Kurdistan, Iran
    Birth name: Massoud Barzani
    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 named the head of the northwestern region as head of the KDP. A parallel government is established in the east under the PUK.
    1994-1998 - Barzani leads a war against the PUK. A peace agreement is reached in August 1998.
    October 4, 2002 - Barzani and Talabani, leader of the PUK, apologize to the families of the victims of their internal war.
    2003 - Becomes a member of the Iraqi Governing Council following the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.
    January 30, 2005 - Barzani is one of approximately 7,700 candidates in Iraq's first free elections in over 50 years.
    June 2005 - Elected president of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq.
    July 25, 2009 - Re-elected president of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq with 71% of the vote.
    July 2013 -