Here is a look at the life of Massoud Barzani, the President of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq.
Personal: 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
Children: Eight children
Religion: Sunni Muslim
Other Facts: Fluent in Kurmanji (Kurdish), Arabic, Farsi (Persian) and English.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has more than 20,000 fighters and controls the northwestern part of Iraqi Kurdistan along the border of Syria, Turkey and Iran.
Timeline: 1961 - Quits school to join the Peshmerga (Kurdish fighters).
1961-1975 - The Kurds fight the Iraqi government.
1970 - Is a member of the Kurdish delegation in talks with the government in Baghdad and becomes a member of the KDP leadership.
1976 - The KDP is reorganized.
1979 - Escapes an assassination attempt in Vienna, Austria.
1979 - Elected president of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, after the death of his father.
1992 - The Kurdish election ends in a split vote.
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 Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
1994-1998 - Barzani leads a war against the PUK. A peace agreement is reached in August 1998.
October 4, 2002 - Barzani and Jalal 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.