Ethnic minority group with sizeable populations in Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. The largest population lives in Turkey (eleven million), although several million live in Iran and northern Iraq, where they have struggled against and been persecuted by Saddam Hussein's regime. Small numbers of Kurds live in Syria. Iraqi Kurds are mainly Shafii Sunnis and members of the Naqshbandi Sufi tariqah. Turkish Kurds are largely Alawis. Many live today as refugees. Many Muslim countries, particularly Iran and Turkey, have resisted refugees historically. The Islamic Republic of Iran has reversed this policy and works with UN agencies to provide emergency relief for refugees.