Un­der the slo­gan “From Tears to Hope” Bad­i­nan An­fal Com­mem­o­rated

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

In the 25th an­niver­sary of Bad­i­nan An­fal, at the pres­ence of KRG Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani and other of­fi­cials, Bad­i­nan An­fal was com­mem­o­rated in Nizarke fort in Duhok.

Dur­ing a speech he de­liv­ered, Nechir­van Barzani men­tioned that the Baath Regime launched at­tacks on ar­eas of Bad­i­nan un­der the name of (the Fi­nal An­fal) 25 years ago. And as a re­sult thou­sands of cit­i­zens were ar­rested, or fled to Turkey and Syr­ian bor­ders, and hun­dreds of peo­ple mar­tyred and in­jured as a re­sult of chem­i­cal at­tacks on var­i­ous ar­eas of Bad­i­nan.

Nechivan Barzani said this is the page of tears in An­fal and should not be for­got­ten in or­der to be re­mind­ing ev­ery­one not to lose their hu­man­ity. "we in­tend to de­liver a mes­sage to the world that states and gov­ern­ments are es­tab­lished for serv­ing peo­ple, not killing and geno­cide" said PM, ex­plain­ing that com­mem­o­rat­ing An­fal is a les­son to be said over ev­ery year so as not to be re­oc­curred, "An­fal should never re­oc­cur any­where in the world" stressed Barzani.

Barzani re­it­er­ated that com­pen­sa­tion is the law­ful right of peo­ple of Kur­dis­tan, stat­ing that the cur­rent Iraqi Govern­ment is the heir of the for­mer govern­ment, de­mand­ing the Iraqi govern­ment to com­ple­ment Supreme Crim­i­nal Court de­ci­sion and com­pen­sate rel­a­tives and fam­i­lies of An­fal vic­tims. He stated one of the is­sues he has se­ri­ously dealt with dur­ing their visit to Bag­dad was An­fal and com­pen­sa­tion of vic­tims.

The Prime Min­is­ter stated that the achieve­ment of chau­vin­ism and dic­ta­tor­ship, was An­fal and geno­cide, but the achieve­ment of rev­o­lu­tion and mar­tyrs' blood and vic­tims was free­dom, self-au­tonomous, democ­racy and the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Govern­ment. "Our achieve­ment is hope, the hope which is not only the re­spon­si­bil­ity of one po­lit­i­cal party, or the govern­ment to pro­tect it, but it's a na­tional re­spon­si­bil­ity for which all are re­spon­si­ble" re­marked Barzani.

25 years ago, the for­mer Iraqi regime launched the fi­nal stage of An­fal known as An­fal of Bad­i­nan in some ar­eas of Duhok prov­ince. The an­niver­sary was com­mem­o­rated with per­form­ing some cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties in Duhok from Au­gust 25 end­ing with the of­fi­cial cer­e­mony in Nizarke fort on Septem­ber 6.

On Au­gust 25 1988, sev­eral corps of Iraqi army were de­ployed in Bad­i­nan ar­eas to launch the fi­nal stage of An­fal. The op­er­a­tion re­sulted in death of hun­dreds and flee­ing of thou­sands to Turk­ish and Syr­ian bor­ders.

On-the-Spot Mass Ex­e­cu­tions

The most no­to­ri­ous case of those days is the mass ex­e­cu­tion of 33 youths in Koreme vil­lage, a vil­lage of just two and a half miles north of the town of Mangesh. Five of the youths sur­pris­ingly sur­vived.

Hashim Mo­ham­mad Rashid is one of the sur­vivors of the mass ex­e­cu­tion; he re­counts his cat­a­strophic story of his sur­vival. Rashid says the Baath men gath­ered them be­neath the vil­lage, lined them up and fired at them." At first they fired over our heads, then fired at us, at the third time they fired at us all, at the fourth time they shot the last bul­lets to proof our death, two bul­lets hit my knee and I was wounded" said Rashid, " af­ter a while, I looked around to see 28 of my fel­lowvil­lagers mar­tyred" "the scene is un­for­get­table" he added. Hashim pointed out that the five sur­vivors re­mained in the wilder­ness for nine days with no food.

Chem­i­cal At­tack

On Au­gust 25, the Iraqi war- planes launched a num­ber of sep­a­rate and si­mul­ta­ne­ous at­tacks on vil­lages in Bad­i­nan ar­eas. Ac­cord­ing to eye­wit­nesses have been in­ter­viewed by Mid­dle East Watch Re­port, the vil­lage of Bir­jinni, in the nahya of Zawita, the vil­lage of Tuka, just across the Khabour River, and the other a lit­tle way to the east, in the vil­lage of Gel­naskeh, were hit by chem­i­cal weapons at break­fast time on Au­gust 25. The peo­ple of Bir­jinni had been watch­ing the sky since dawn. For sev­eral days they had been aware of un­usual num­bers of air­craft over­head, and they were fear­ful of a con­ven­tional bomb­ing at­tack. As eight air­planes came into view, many of the vil­lagers fled in fear to the shel­ters they had built nearby. Three of the planes made a low pass over the vil­lage, from east to west, and dropped four bombs each. Sur­viv­ing vil­lagers told of clouds of smoke bil­low­ing up­ward, "white, black and then yel­low, ris­ing about fifty or sixty yards into the air in a col­umn. Then the col­umn be­gan to break up and drift. It drifted down into the val­ley and then passed through the vil­lage. Then we smelled the gas."

They say it was a pleas­ant smell at first; "it smelled of ap­ples and some­thing sweet." Oth­ers said it re­minded them of "pes­ti­cides in our fields." Soon, how­ever, "it be­came bit­ter. It af­fected our eyes and our mouths and our skin. All of a sud­den it was hard to breathe. The vil­lagers later found that four peo­ple from a sin­gle Bir­jinni fam­ily had died, in­clud­ing a 58-year old man and his five-year old grand­son.

Tens of other vil­lages were at­tacked by chem­i­cal weapons on the fol­low­ing days.

About 13,395 cit­i­zens cap­tured dur­ing Bad­i­nan An­fal, most were taken to the Nizarke Fort, trucked there in army IFAs from their place of cap­ture. Some male pris­on­ers from the southern part of Bad­i­nan were also taken to the city of Mo­sul, but no one has ap­par­ently re­turned alive to tell the story of what hap­pened there. The in­ti­mates in Nizarke Fort were tor­tured by Baath's men and kept with­out food for sev­eral days, be­fore mov­ing some of them to Salamiya, Tobzawa and Kirkuk com­mu­ni­ties. Those who weren't cap­tured mi­grated to Turkey and set­tled in refugee camps of Mush, Di­yarbakir and Mardin.

Nizarke Fort lies on the east­ern out­skirts of Duhok city. It is a huge con­crete struc­ture built in 1970s.

PM Nechir­van Barzani De­liv­er­ing his Speech in Nizarke Fort in 25th An­niver­sary of Bad­i­nan An­fal.

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