Turkey

Turkish diplomats remember 1988 killing of Iraqi Kurds

Turkish Consulate says Saddam Hussein regime chemical attack on Kurdish-populated city of Halabja violated human dignity

Jeyhun Aliyev   | 16.03.2020
Turkish diplomats remember 1988 killing of Iraqi Kurds

ANKARA

Turkish diplomats in northern Iraq on Monday commemorated a 1988 chemical attack on the city of Halabja which killed or injured thousands of local Kurds.

In a Twitter post, the Turkish Consulate in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), said the chemical attack on Kurdish-populated Iraqi city of Halabja violated “human dignity."

"We once again commemorate our Kurdish brothers and sisters who lost their lives in the chemical attack on Halabja by the [Iraqi] Baath regime on March 16, 1988, and wish Allah's mercy on those who lost their lives," it said.

"Our country, which opened its doors to the Kurdish brothers and sisters who escaped this attack and took refuge 32 years ago, still deeply feels the great pain caused by this massacre."

On March 16, 1988, some 5,000-7,000 Kurds, including babies, children, women, and the elderly, are estimated to have been killed during the Iran-Iraq war when forces loyal to Saddam Hussein dropped toxic mustard and sarin gases on Halabja.

While the attack left over 7,000 people wounded, thousands of others died of complications, illnesses, and birth defects in subsequent years. Many Halabja residents still suffer the physical effects of the attacks.

The first chemical attack in the Middle East, the Halabja massacre, known as the largest chemical weapons attack in history directed against a civilian-populated area, targeted Kurds who opposed Saddam Hussein's regime.

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