18 October, 2012
The Al Anfal campaign
The operation was called “Anfal Campaign;” Anfal means “Spoils of war” in Arabic. This was a genocidal campaign that was followed by a series of systematic attacks against the Kurdish population and their means of livelihood – villages, agriculture, infrastructures, roads, etc. The operation was carried from early 1986 until late 1989 and it took the lives of more than 2,150,000 mostly women, children, and elders as most of these areas were only inhabited by civilians; destroyed 4,000 villages; displaced at least a million; 860 became widows with greater number of orphans.(“Gendercide Watch: The Anfal Campaign (Iraqi Kurdistan), 1988”) Then, in 1988, in a separate operation yet during the same time, there was another operation that was carried in the city of Halabja and its surroundings. This came to become the symbol of the tragedies of Iraqi-Kurdistan and of Anfal. Halabja and the surrounding cities were bombarded with chemical agents such as: mustard gas; nerve agents sarin, tabun, and VX as well as blood agent hydrogen cyanide; or more commonly known as Weapons of Mass Destruction.As the bombings occurred, residents sensed “pleasant smell in the air; smell of sweet apples, orange, and garlic” and within few minutes, the residents started to have hard time breathing. Few more minutes: “some people just dropped dead, some people died laughing, while still some others took a few minutes to die, first burning and blistering or coughing up green vomit”.("Genocide in Kurdistan." Gendercide Watch. Section 3.1 Web. 04 Apr. 2012.)The Halabja Genocide alone killed around 5,000 men, women, children, and elders; injured more than 10,000; thousands still missing; thousands more died later of complications, diseases, and birth defects in the years later. Those residents who survived suffered from a higher percentage of medical disorders such as miscarriages (14 times higher), colon cancer (10...