Twenty five years ago today, on the 16th of march 1988, Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s deceased former ruler, plotted against the Kurds in the northern province of Iraq and systematically murdered thousands of Kurdish civilians. Under the assumption that the Kurds in Halabja were working against the Iraq during the Gulf war, Saddam had decided that it was vital for the regime to make “an example” of the Kurds, in order to avoid any further acts of treachery against the Kurds. However, there wasn’t much concrete proof on their supposed acts of treachery, and even so systematically killing every civilian in a village is an act that is not comprehensible, let alone justifiable.
Saddam decided to name his tirade against the Kurds as “Al-Anfal” ironically, one of the names of the verses in the Quran. The Halabja massacre killed up to 5000 Kurdish civilians in one tirade, victims included women and children.
Saddam’s use of mustard gas (and other chemical agents), till today remains to be one of the largest chemical weapons attack against a civilian populated area. The victims who had survived the attack, later died from either poisoning or cancer because of the chemical weapons.
Halabja is a prime example of how the USA never cared about the Kurdish people. Shortly after the massacre the US government declared the genocide as a fault of Iran, accusing Iran of targeting the civilians. Although they admittedly knew that it was an act by Saddam.
The Kurds have been incredibly isolated to the point where it is definitely sickening. This was a genocide, against an innocent people.
Halabja, Never forget.