Iraqi Genocide of the Kurdish Population
The genocide of the Kurdish population in the northern portion of Iraq by Saddam Hussein and the Ba'ath Party reached its more intense period form 1987 until 1989. During this campaign, it is estimated that as many as 182,000 Kurdish men, women, and children were killed by chemical weapon attacks, through mass executions, or because of horrible conditions and treatment in prison camps (Sinan, 2007). More then one third of the 3.5 million Kurds in northern Iraq were displaced and tens of thousands fell victim of forced disappearances (Amnesty International, 2012, p. 16). The campaign was lead by former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, the Secretary General of the Northern Bureau of Iraq's Ba'ath Arab Socialist Party, and was manned by over 200,000 Iraqi Army forces from the First and Fifth army Corps in order to “solve the Kurdish problem and slaughter the saboteurs.” (Human Rights Watch, 1993).
The Kurdish people are the fourth largest ethnic group in the Middle East, and is the world's largest nation which does not poses a state of their own, consisting of between 20 and 25 million people in a highly concentrated area across Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria known as Kurdistan (Benvenuto, J., Jacobs, R., & Lim, J., 2013). Prior to the Anfal Campaigns approximately 23% of the Kurdish population lived in rugged mountain region of northern Iraq (Gendercide, 2013). The Kurdish people have one of the longest ethnic histories in the middle east, dating back to as early as 2400 BC the Kurds have occupied the same area. Throughout modern history Kurdistan has been constantly ruled under multiple oppressive empires and state, in 1847 the Ottoman Empire's quick suppression of an uprising lead to the first attempt in the organization of a national Kurdish movement. Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Treaty of Severs in 1920 begun to carve up the territories and presented hopes to the Kurds...
Citations: Amnesty International. (2010). Iraq: Civilians under fire. MDE 14(002/2010). Retrieved from:
Benvenuto, J., Jacobs, R., & Lim, J. (2013). Al-anfal and the genocide of iraqi kurds, 1988. Rutgers
Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights
Human Rights Watch. (1993). Introduction. In Genocide in iraq the anfal campaign against the kurds.
Shlupe, J. L. (2013). Brief history of kurdistan. Retrieved from The Kurdish Question website:
Sinan, O. (2007, June 25). Iraq to hang 'chemical ali '. Retrieved from Tampa Bay Times website:
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