Genocide in Iraq

The Anfal Campaign Against the Kurds

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A narrative account of the Iraqi government’s organized attempt to eradicate the Kurds living in northern Iraq, this report captures in riveting detail the multiple phases of the Anfal campaign. Anfal, meaning "the spoils," is the name of the eighth sura of the Koran. It is also the name given by the Iraqis to a series of military actions that lasted from February 23 until September 6, 1988. Relying in part on previously unpublished Iraqi government documents captured by Kurdish rebels during the Gulf War, Genocide in Iraq reveals a meticulously organized campaign incorporating prison camps, firing squads and chemical attacks. The campaigns of 1987-1989 were characterized by mass summary executions and the mass disappearance of many tens of thousands of noncombatants, including large numbers of women and children, and sometimes the entire population of villages; the widespread use of chemical weapons; the wholesale destruction of some 2,000 villages, including homes, schools, mosques and wells; the looting of civilian property; the arbitrary arrest and jailing in conditions of extreme deprivation of thousands of women, children and elderly people; the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of villagers; and the destruction of the rural Kurdish economy and infrastructure. Genocide in Iraq is the product of almost two years of research, during which we analyzed tons of captured Iraqi government documents and carried out field interviews with more than 350 witnesses, most of them survivors of the 1988 campaign. As a result of this painstaking work, we conclude that the Iraqi regime committed the crime of genocide.

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