Before 1991 the Kurdish region was subject to the heavy hand of the state – most notably in the campaign to “Arabize”
The U.S. 10th Special Forces Group fought alongside Kurdish peshmerga forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom, first securing Mosul and then moving through Kirkuk to Baghdad. Since 2003, approximately 100,000 peshmerga have maintained security in the Northern provinces, which have remained the most stable in Iraq. The peshmerga have been instrumental in fighting al-Qaeda in
There are lingering tension between the KRG and the Iraqi government in Baghdad regarding the status of the Kirkuk Province and the disputed areas along the Green Line. Several bodies are working to resolve these issues. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) has spent the last two years conducting a study on the disputed areas, the results of which are expected to be released in the spring of 2009. A committee known as the Article 23 Committee was also established to investigate and produce recommendations for the conduct of elections in Kirkuk Province. The Committee's recommendations were due by March 31, 2009; however, that deadline was postponed until later in the spring.