Kurdish nationalism is the political movement holding that the Kurdish people are deserving of a sovereign nation in their homeland, Kurdistan, partitioned out of the territories in which Kurdish people form a majority. Currently, these territories lie in northern Iraq (including, but not limited to, Iraqi Kurdistan), northwestern Iran (Iranian Kurdistan), southeastern Turkey (Turkish Kurdistan), and small parts of northern and northeastern Syria (Syrian Kurdistan).Early Kurdish Nationalism has its roots in the days of the Ottoman Empire, within which it became a significant ethnic group. With the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurdish-majority territories were divided between the newly formed states of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, making Kurds a significant ethnic minority in each state. Kurdish nationalist movements have long been suppressed by Turkey, Iran and the Arab-majority states of Iraq and Syria, all of whom fear loss of territory to a potential, independent Kurdistan. Since the 1970s, Iraqi Kurds have pursued the goal of greater autonomy and even outright independence against the Baath Party regimes, which responded with brutal repression. In the 1980s, an armed insurgency led by the Patriotic Front of Kurdistan challenged the Turkish state, which responded with martial law. After the 1991 Gulf War, Iraqi Kurds were protected against the armies of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein by NATO-enforced no fly zones, allowing them considerable autonomy and self-government without the control of the Iraqi central government. After the 2003 invasion of Iraq that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, Iraqi Kurdistan became an autonomous region, enjoying a great measure of self-governance but stopping short of full independence.Kurdish nationalism has long been espoused and promoted by the worldwide Kurdish diaspora.