Has been the President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region since 2005 and has also been the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party since 1979. He entered the political arena at the young age of 16 under the wing of his late father the Kurdish nationalist leader Mustafa Barzani. He had a major role in shaping the new Iraq through his political position and by becoming a member of the Iraqi Governing Council in April 2004 after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime. He has been the main force fighting DA’ISH and recovered much territory. He is adamant about establishing an independent Kurdish state. There are approximately five million Kurds living within the Kurdish region in Iraq, and they also make up roughly 10% of the populations of Iran and Syria, and 18% of Turkey.