The Kurds are the second largest ethnic group in Iraq and since Saddam rose to power, they continuously were oppressed during his regime. Kurds were the only Iraqi ethnic group to allied with the Coalition Forces.The Peshmergas (Kurd soldier or fighter, which means“those who facedeath”) played a major role in ground fighting in the northernfront. Many Kurds from all over the Kurdistan arrived to the northern frontlines to join forces with the Coalition and help defeat Saddam's army.The cities of Mosul, which is the third largest (in population) and Kirkuk, important for its oil rich soil, were key during the invasion.Mosul and Kirkuk are cites composed of mostly Iraqi Arabs and Iraqi Kurds(and a small percentage of Turkmen as well as some Iraqi Christians.These two cities were taken without any resistance because the Iraqi army surrendered. In the days that followed, they were hit by a wave of violence and social instability.
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