Iraqi Kurds mark Halabja chemical attack anniversary
Graphic content / (FILES) In this file photo taken on March 16, 2014 an Iraqi Kurd man walks past grave stones as he visits a grave yard for the victims of a gas attack by former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in 1988 in the Kurdish town of Halabja, 300 kms (190 miles) northeast of Baghdad. (AFP photo)
Islam Times - Iraqi Kurds have staged events marking 30 years since a chemical attack by the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, on the town of Halabja.
Halabja, a located near Iran’s western border, was bombed on March 16, 1988 during the final days of Iraq’s war against Iran. Around 5,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the deadly attack, which also left around 10,000 people injured.
On Thursday, scores of Kurds from Halabja staged a demonstration outside the German Consulate in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, and repeated previous demands for a swift trial of those responsible for the gruesome attack.
The demonstrators said German companies that used to sell chemical bombs to Saddam should specifically be held accountable for the massacre. They also called on Berlin to help the Iraqi government in its efforts to persuade international organizations to recognize the 1988 attack on Halabja as genocide while helping victims who still suffer from the chemical attack with their treatment.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has held special events in days leading to the 30th anniversary of the Halabja bombing, including a conference in the United States.
Thousands of Kurds were killed during Saddam’s rein in Iraq as the strongman never tolerated the large minority group.
The Halabja bombing, however, marked a sharp increase in the number of fatalities of the anti-Kurdish crackdown. It, however, encouraged Kurds to help later efforts to topple Saddam.
Iran continued to offer its support to the oppressed minority group after the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988.
Story Code: 712097