U. S. po­lit­i­cal spe­cial­ist: Sad­dam Hus­sein at­tacked the Kurds many times

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

In a spe­cial pro­gram broad­casted on VOA, the US Po­lit­i­cal Spe­cial­ist, Mika Ami­tay, said the for­mer Iraqi pres­i­dent, Sad­dam Hus­sein, and his regime not only sought to kill Kurds by means of the An­fal cam­paign, they also at­tacked peo­ple with chem­i­cal weapons.

He said Sad­dam Hus­sein’s regime at­tacked Kurds us­ing chem­i­cal weapons over 200 times with a view to crush­ing the Kur­dish up­ris­ing.

“Peo­ple around the world are only aware of the at­tacks Sad­dam made on Hal­abja in which 5 000 peo­ple died, but ac­tu­ally many other at­tacks were made on Kurds,” he said.

The of­fi­cial start and fin­ish dates of the An­fal cam­paign which Sad­dam Hus­sein's regime car­ried out against the large Kur­dish pop­u­la­tion in north­ern Iraq are Fe­bru­ary 23 and Septem­ber 6, 1988, but the cam­paign is of­ten thought to have lasted from March 1987 un­til May 1989. The pur­pose of the cam­paign was os­ten­si­bly to re­assert Iraqi con­trol over the area; how­ever, the real goal was to per­ma­nently elim­i­nate the Kur­dish prob­lem.

As early as April 1987, the Iraqis used chem­i­cal weapons to re­move Kurds from their vil­lages in north­ern Iraq. It is es­ti­mated that chem­i­cal weapons were used on ap­prox­i­mately 40 Kur­dish vil­lages, with the largest of these at­tacks oc­cur­ring on March 16, 1988 against the Kur­dish town of Hal­abja.

Be­gin­ning on the morn­ing of March 16, 1988 and con­tin­u­ing through the night, the Iraqis rained down vol­ley after vol­ley of bombs on Hal­abja filled with a deadly mix­ture of mus­tard gas and nerve agents. The im­me­di­ate ef­fects of the chem­i­cals in­cluded blind­ness, vom­it­ing, blis­ters, con­vul­sions and as­phyx­i­a­tion. Ap­prox­i­mately 5 000 women, men and chil­dren died within days of the at­tacks. Long-term ef­fects in­cluded per­ma­nent blind­ness, cancer and birth de­fects. An es­ti­mated 10 000 sur­vivors now live with dis­fig­ure­ment and sick­nesses caused by the chem­i­cal weapons.

Sad­dam Hus­sein's cousin, Ali Has­san al-Ma­jid, was di­rectly in charge of the chem­i­cal at­tacks against the Kurds, earn­ing him the nick­name "Chem­i­cal Ali."

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