The Kurdistani Coalition and the Human Rights Association (İHD) called on world democracy powers and Turkey on Thursday to recognise the Halabja Massacre, the chemical attack that took place in the Middle East in 1988, as genocide, reported ANF.
🔴 The Kurdistani Coalition and the Human Rights Association (İHD) have called for the 1988 Halabja Massacre to be recognised as genocide on the 35th anniversary of the attack.#HalabjaGenocide | #Kurds https://t.co/XermMJa1Wn pic.twitter.com/4O4U0jXSUc
— MedyaNews (@medyanews_) March 16, 2023
Commemorating the massacre 35 years later, the Kurdistani Coalition said that there was no reaction in the eastern world because they were allies of Saddam Hussein, adding that weak reactions also appeared from the Western World.
Calling Halabja Massacre the “Hiroshima of the Middle East”, the coalition said that Kurds were exposed to genocide and left alone when the massacre happened.
The İHD also made a statement regarding the massacre and called on Turkey to recognise it as genocide. Recognising that a serious crime like genocide has been committed in Halabja will be a deterrent against similar crimes in the future, said the İHD.
The association added that recognising the Halabja massacre as genocide will also heal the mourning of the victims’ relatives.
On 16 March 1988, the Iraqi Army carried out a heavy bombardment on the city of Halabja where 40,000 people lived as a part of the Anfal campaign in Iraq which was carried out against the Iraqi Kurds between 1986 and 1989.
Saddam Hussein’s cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as “Chemical Ali”, ordered the warplanes to drop bombs with chemical munition on the city.
“Dayê bêhna sêva tê” (Mom, there is a smell of apple) said one of the children who fell to the ground due to the chemical gas. While some people rushed into shelters, others continued their daily routine.
The incident was the largest chemical weapons attack directed against a civilian-populated area in history, killing around 5,000 people and injuring around 10,000 more, most of them civilians. The WHO reports 43,753 people have died in total due to the lasting effects of the chemical attack, and over 61,000 have been injured.
Ramazan Öztürk, a journalist who played a significant role in reporting on the Halabja Massacre took a photo of a father who died with his child in his arms which became a symbol of the victims.
“Iraq used chemical weapons in the frontlines and in civilian settlements from the very first years of the Iran-Iraq war. The West always kept silent. Saddam was sure that this silence would continue in Halabja as well. He proved right,” Öztürk said.