Iraq's President Barham Salih condemned on Monday the crimes of the
former regime, which "massacred the defenseless civilians, and killed
thousands," adding that it had oppressed Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Muslims,
This came as he met with tribal elders and other social and cultural elite in Iraq's Al-Muthanna, marking 30 years since the the former regime "threw thousands of unarmed Kurds of elders, children and women in the desert of Samawah," Salih said.
He added that although 30 years have passed, mass graves are being discovered until now, "not only for Kurds, but for all [components] of Iraqis."
Earlier, Outgoing Prime Minister of Iraq's Kurdistan Nechirvan Barzani said in a video that the Ba'ath Party "had [adopted] a
racist policy against the Kurdish people."
His remarks came on Friday, April 13, which marks the 31st anniversary of the Anfal operations committed by the former regime against the Kurds in Iraq.
During his speech, Barzani urged the government in Baghdad to compensate the families of the victims of such crimes.
"We commemorate the 31st anniversary of the victims of the Anfal campaigns, those campaigns that did not know any borders and targeted everyone without exceptions.The Baath launched a racist campaign against the Kurdish people," he stated.
Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children were executed during a systematic attempt to exterminate the Kurdish population in Iraq in the Anfal operations in the late 1980s.
They were tied together and shot so they fell into mass graves.
Their towns and villages were attacked by chemical weapons, and many women and children were sent to camps where they lived in appalling conditions.
Men and boys of ‘battle age’ were targeted and executed en masse. The campaign takes its name from Suratal-Anfal in the Qur’an. Al Anfal literally means the spoils (of war) and was used to describe the military campaign of extermination and looting commanded by Ali Hassan al-Majid.
The Ba’athists misused what the Qur’an says. Anfal in the Qur’an does not refer to genocide, but the word was used as a code name by the former Iraqi Ba’athist regime for the systematic attacks against the Kurdish population. The campaign also targeted the villages of minority communities including Christians.