Kurds welcome British genocide statement

March 8, 2013 at 12:10 PM

ERBIL, Iraq, March 8 (UPI) -- Britain established its reputation as an international leader by formally recognizing Saddam Hussein's regime committed genocide in Iraq, a Kurdish leader said.

The British Parliament last week voted unanimously to recognize the genocide of the Kurdish people by Iraq's government under Saddam.

Ali Hassan al-Majid, an Iraqi defense minister under the former Baathist regime, was executed in January 2010 for ordering chemical weapons attacks on the Kurdish population in 1988 as part of the so-called Anfal campaign. An estimated 5,000 people were killed during the assault, earning Majid the nickname Chemical Ali.

Masoud Barzani, president of Iraq's semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region, said he welcomed the British decision.

"This underlines Britain's role as a leading player in the international community and we hope that it will follow up on this decision," he said in a statement. "By doing so it will be sending a clear message to all dictators and oppressors."

Barzani added that formal recognition is a step toward justice, noting it was time for the European Union and the United Nations to follow London's lead.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Multiple attacks escalate Jerusalem violence; gun restrictions could ease"
Genetic changes could make pig organs usable for human transplant
Five Democratic presidential candidates meet in Las Vegas for first debate
Confederate flag group charged with terrorist threats
Report: MH17 downed by Russian-made missile