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The Kurds are a distinct ethno-linguistic group speaking an Indo-Aryan language. Their traditional homeland Kurdistan is situated in the northern Middle East and partitioned between Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Iran. The medieval era saw the rise of several principalities ruled by Kurdish dynasties, including Shaddadid, Rawadid, Hasanwayhid, Annazid, and Marwanid. Subsequently subdued by the Ottomans, the Kurds' struggle for self-rule and independence took off again after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the end of the colonial era. Today, Iraq's Kurdistan Autonomous Region is the only Kurd-dominated political entity in the world.