Kurdistan PM commemorates 37th anniversary of Barzani Genocide

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on late Thursday evening commemorated the 37th anniversary of one portion of the murderous Anfal campaign of the former Iraqi regime that is known as the Barzani Genocide.
author_image Hiwa Shilani

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on late Thursday evening commemorated the 37th anniversary of one portion of the murderous Anfal campaign of the former Iraqi regime that is known as the Barzani Genocide.

“The Barzani Genocide was the beginning of a wide structural genocide against the people of Kurdistan under the name of Anfal, which in several phases the previous Ba’athist regime transported thousands of innocent Kurdish people, including men, women, and children to the Iraqi deserts and buried them in mass graves,” said Barzani in a statement.

“This immense crime massacred 8,000 innocent people in a brutal method, just for being Kurds.”

He added that the action “was a discriminatory surge to eliminate the identity of and erase an oppressed nation. If it weren’t for the endurance, and the continuity of the Kurdish people's uprisings and demands for the homeland, the identity and existence of Kurdish people would have faced a great risk.”   

Barzani pledged his government’s commitment the families of Anfal victims by providing financial and other assistance to them, as well as continuing his efforts to negotiate with the federal government of Iraq to secure the “moral and financial compensation of the victims of the genocide” in the Kurdistan Region.

On July 31, 1983, Iraqi forces transported roughly 8,000 male and female members of the Barzani tribe of all ages to deserts in southern Iraq, executing them indiscriminately before burying them in mass graves.

Remains of some have been found in southern Iraq and then transferred to the Kurdistan Region for proper burial, but the whereabouts of most of the victims remain unknown.

Anfal is the Arabic term used in the Quran for “spoils of war.” It was the word chosen by Saddam Hussein’s regime when they launched the campaign against civilians in different areas of the Kurdistan Region that is now widely recognized as an act of genocide.

It was a multi-phase political, military, economic, cultural, and social process of annihilation by the former Iraqi regime that resulted in the deaths of as many as 182,000 Kurds and the eradication of some 5,000 villages. 

Editing by John J. Catherine