The Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) has been informed that a new
mass grave with 500 dead has been discovered in Iraq. It is not far from
Tallafa, about 60 km west of Mossul. The first investigations have shown
that the victims were Kurds. They were either murdered during the
so-called Anfal offensive under Saddam Hussein in 1987/88 or they were
victims of the Barzan massacre of 1983, stated the head of the
exhumation committee in Iraqi Kurdistan to the GfbV by telephone. The
remains are now to be exhumed and together with representatives of the
government in Baghdad identified by experts from Kurdistan with the aid
of DNA tests.
"Unfortunately the exhumations have to take place under the most
difficult conditions, for the mass grave lies in a region in which
Islamist terror groups have the upper hand", reported the GfbV colleague
Masud Siany from Arbil, the capital of the north Iraqi autonomous
federal state of Kurdistan. The GfbV is represented there with a section.
The Anfal Offensive was carried out under the leadership of Saddam
Hussein’s cousin Ali Hassan Al Majid (better known under the name
"Chemical Ali"). Something like 182,000 Kurds – among them also
Christian Assyro-Chaldaic Aramaeans – were killed during eight attack
waves by the Iraqi army in the north of the country between February and
the beginning of September 1988. Chemical and biological weapons were
also used here. The murders were aimed specifically at men of working
age and boys aged between eleven and fifty years old to prevent active
counter-attacks or later acts of revenge.
In the Barzan Valley the Kurds lost on one day alone, 30th July 1983,
nearly all their male population. 8,000 men and boys were loaded onto
lorries by the Iraqi military and deported as "agents of international
imperialism and Zionism", driven through Baghdad and exhibited on TV.
Those people who had been abducted never appeared again. It was only
after many years that it became known that they had been shot. The
genocide against the Kurds was meticulously registered by the Iraqi
administration, by the army and Saddam’s special units with all details.
Up till now however only 503 of the
murder victims from the Barzan Valley and the remains of 258 dead from
the Kurdish area Doli Jafayati could be found, exhumed, identified and
brought to Kurdistan.
If you have questions, please approach the GfbV Near-East consultant, Dr.
Kamal Sido, at tel. ++49 (0) 551 49906-18.