Genocide in Kurdistan
Even before the formal end of the war with Iran, Iraq launched a major counter-insurgency offensive against the Kurds. During the war Kurdish rebel parties had succeeded in prying parts of Iraqi Kurdistan from Baghdad’s control. During this offensive (1987-1989), three-quarters of all Kurdish villages and over twenty moderately-sized cities were depopulated and levelled. Their residents were deported to ‘modern villages’.
During the February-September 1988 Operation al-Anfal– a reference to a Koranic chapter that speaks of plundering the possessions of infidels defeated in battle – the regime systematically killed tens of thousands of Kurdish villagers. Human Rights Watch estimated that about 100,000 were killed and buried in mass graves. Kurdish leaders claim that Kurdish deaths totalled about 180,000. (Since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, numerous mass graves have been found in western Iraq.)
The nadir was reached in a poison-gas attack, on 16 March 1988, by the Iraqi Air Force on the Kurdish city of Halabja, killing some 5,000 and wounding many more.
We would like to ask you something …
Fanack is an independent media organisation, not funded by any state or any interest group, that distributes in the Middle East and the wider world unbiased analysis and background information, based on facts, about the Middle East and North Africa.
The website grew rapidly in breadth and depth and today forms a rich and valuable source of information on 21 countries, from Morocco to Oman and from Iran to Yemen, both in Arabic and English. We currently reach six million readers annually and growing fast.
In order to guarantee the impartiality of information on the Chronicle, articles are published without by-lines. This also allows correspondents to write more freely about sensitive or controversial issues in their country. All articles are fact-checked before publication to ensure that content is accurate, current and unbiased.