16 Facts About Anfal campaign


Anfal campaign or the Kurdish genocide was a counterinsurgency operation which was carried out by Ba'athist Iraq from February to September 1988, at the end of the Iran–Iraq War.

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The campaign targeted rural Kurds because its purpose was to eliminate Kurdish rebel groups and Arabize strategic parts of the Kirkuk Governorate.

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In 1993, Human Rights Watch released a report on the Anfal campaign based on documents captured by Kurdish rebels during the 1991 uprisings in Iraq; HRW described it as a genocide and estimated between 50,000 to 100,000 deaths.

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Anfal campaign began in February 1988 and continued until August or September and included the use of ground offensives, aerial bombing, chemical warfare, systematic destruction of settlements, mass deportation and firing squads.

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The Anfal campaign was headed by Ali Hassan al-Majid who was a cousin of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from Saddam's hometown of Tikrit.

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Anfal campaign, officially conducted in 1988, had eight stages altogether, seven of which targeted areas controlled by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.

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The Anfal campaign 5 failed completely; therefore, two more attacks were necessary to gain Iraqi government control over the valleys.

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Anfal campaign reached an agreement with the Kurdish collaborators of the Iraqi Army so that the civilians could flee.

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The Anfal campaign used heavy population redistribution, most notably in Kirkuk, the results of which now plague negotiations between Iraq's Shi'a United Iraqi Alliance and the Kurdish Kurdistani Alliance.

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The trial for the Anfal campaign was still underway on 30 December 2006, when Saddam Hussein was executed for his role in the unrelated Dujail massacre.

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Anfal campaign trial recessed on 21 December 2006, and when it resumed on 8 January 2007, the remaining charges against Saddam Hussein were dropped.

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Anfal campaign was convicted in June 2007 and was sentenced to death.

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Anfal campaign was sentenced to death for the fourth time on 17 January 2010 and was hanged eight days later, on 25 January 2010.

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Human Rights Watch's 1993 report on Anfal campaign was based on Iraqi documents, examination of grave sites, and interviews with Kurdish survivors.

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Joost Hiltermann, HRW's lead researcher on Anfal campaign, referred to these files as "the good stuff…material to smear the enemy with".

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Anfal campaign warned that the records contained neither "smoking guns" nor do they contain records of the "explosive nature" as HRW claimed.

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