SULAIMANI – People in the Kurdistan Region and families of Anfal victims commemorate the 33th anniversary of the tragedy, which was launched and led by Ba’ath Party Secretary-General Ali Hassan al-Majid – also known as Chemical Ali.
Families of the victims and several Kurdish officials on Wednesday (April 14) headed to cemeteries where Anfal victims have been buried.
Anfal is an Islamic verse or Surah used by the Baathists for a series of military actions and the slaughter of Kurds that begun in 1986 and peaked in 1988.
Families of Anfal victims called on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to bring to justice suspects who are believed to have links to the Anfal campaign carried out against the Kurds during the Baath regime’s rule.
They also demanded the KRG to repatriate bodies of the victims from other parts of Iraq to the Kurdistan Region.
President of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani demanded compensation from the Iraqi government for Anfal survivors and families of the victims.
Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Masrour Barzani demanded “material and moral compensation for the survivors and families of Anfal victims from the Iraqi federal government.”
Ground offensives, aerial bombardments, systematic destruction of villages and mass deportations were used as part of Anfal campaign that killed and disappeared an estimated 182,000 Kurds and destroyed over 4,000 villages.
"Recalling the pain and sadness of this painful occasion, we stand with reverence and honor for the martyrs and victims of this crime, and that remembering it annually is a motivation for all governments to work hard without the return of dictatorship in any of its forms, " Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said.
A chemical weapons attack on Halabja in 1988, as part of the Anfal campaign, killed up to 5,000 people and wounded thousands more.
“With great sadness we commemorate today the anniversary of the Anfal campaign (In Garmian areas including Kalar and Chamchamal) committed against the Kurdish people by the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein,” US Consulate General in Erbil said in a statement.
“We will continue standing with the people of the IKR to ensure a secure, democratic, and economically prosperous future for Iraq,” it added, referring to Iraqi Kurdistan of Iraq or the Kurdistan Region.