1983 attack on Kurds ruled a genocide

May 9, 2011 at 2:15 PM
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ERBIL, Iraq, May 9 (UPI) -- An Iraqi tribunal ruled that a 1983 attack on the Barzani tribe in the Kurdish provinces of Iraq was an act of genocide, the Kurdistan Regional Government said.

The KRG notes that as many as 8,000 members of the Barzani tribe, most of them men and boys, were rounded up and killed by the Baath Party of Saddam Hussein in 1983.

The reprisal came five years before the 1988 chemical attacks on Halabja. 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.

Five members of the former Baath Party were given death sentences in connection to the attacks on the Kurds.

KRG President Masoud Barzani in a statement said the ruling was a testament of the strength of the Iraqi judicial system.

"This ruling strengthens our confidence in the justice of our cause, and illustrates the scale of the injustices committed against our people," he said. "What strengthens our faith is that the future is always an ally of the oppressed and brings shame and disgrace on the perpetrators."

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