Kirkuk Liberation Day in Iraqi Kurdistan Date in the current year: March 20, 2018

Kirkuk Liberation Day in Iraqi Kurdistan In the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, there are several observances dedicated to the 1991 uprisings in Iraq which resulted in the de facto autonomy of Iraqi Kurdistan. The anniversary of the rebellion is celebrated on March 5, and March 20 is observed as Kirkuk Liberation Day.

The 1991 uprisings in northern and southern Iraq began soon after Iraq’s defeat in the Persian Gulf War. They were fueled by the perception that Saddam Hussein had become vulnerable to regime change due to the defeat.

In the north, the main driving force behind the rebellion was Kurdish nationalists who wanted Iraqi Kurdistan to have real autonomy. The rebellion erupted on March 5, 1991 in the town of Ranya. Within 10 days, Kurdish nationalists with the assistance of other rebels (Islamist and communist groups, army deserters and defected militiamen) took control of almost every city in northern Iraq except for Kirkuk and Mosul.

Kirkuk eventually fell to the rebels on March 20, and they gained control over the entire Iraqi Kurdistan. Although the rebellion was eventually crushed by regime loyalists, the Iraqi government fully withdrew from Kurdistan in October, allowing it to function de facto independently.

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Category

Anniversaries and Memorial Days

Country

Iraq

Tags

Kirkuk Liberation Day in Iraqi Kurdistan, holidays in Iraqi Kurdistan, 1991 uprisings in Iraq, Kurdish rebellion