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Essay: Genocide of the Kurds

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  • Subject area(s): International relations
  • Reading time: 4 minutes
  • Price: Free download
  • Published: 16 June 2012*
  • File format: Text
  • Words: 1,007 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 5 (approx)
  • Tags: Genocide essays

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In the years between 1986 and 1989 the people of Iraq witnessed one of the biggest massacres the country has ever seen which was also called the holocaust of Iraq, The Kurdish people were killed and their homes were destroyed due to their beliefs and their lack of faith to their government and chose to not follow their leaders Saddam Hussein and his cousin Ali Hassan al- Masjid. This was part of an ongoing campaign against the Kurdish people because of the struggle to gain power with in Iraq, this campaign was called the Al Anfal where this campaign was made to kill the Kurdish people and destroy their race because of their beliefs and principles. The amount of chemical weaponry grew and was also one of the main weapons used to kill the Kurdish population.

The Kurdish people had a long history of conflict leading up to the genocide. They are a race with no homeland, scattered all over Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Iraq. The Kurdish population are divided by two forms of Islam, five borders, and three Kurdish languages and writing, and because of their lack of unity they fought amongst themselves as much as with others. Although they were promised their own homeland in 1922, Turkey refused to ratify the Treaty of Sevres that would make this possible, and in turn the Kurdish have staged recent rebellion campaigns, which they hope to gain the right to govern themselves. They were offered some independence in 1970 when Iraq offered to give them about half of the land that they considered theirs, minus the Kurdish populated oil rich provinces, but the Kurdish rejected the offer. Saddam Hussein imposed it anyway in 1974 in attempt to isolate the Kurds at the time.

In Iraq tension had begun since the elections and their new elected president Saddam Hussein who was a dictator and had plans that the Kurdish people who believed their president did not have good ideas and so the Kurdish people chose not to support their government and not to support Suddam Hussein himself. Saddam had gotten very irritated and wanted more of the land but in the north was full of Kurdish civilians and who would not follow Saddam because of their beliefs and principles. Saddam and his cousin Ali Hassan Al Majid had made a plan to take out their enemy’s and non-followers especially the Kurdish people, Saddam had made and organization called the Anfal which meant the spoils, this campaign became one of the most deadly campaigns in the country and its main goal was to kill and end the life’s of the Kurdish race. One of the main cities that was attacked called Halabja which had the population of 60000 Kurdish residents, Saddam made a plan and had 200000 Iraqi soldiers attack and Ali plan the bombing of the town, Ali mainly used gasses and chemical bombs which lead to his nickname as chemical Ali.

The survivors of this attack said that the sky was full of yellow, grey and black clouds due to the chemical bombs and gases and they had also said that the gases at first had smelt like sweet apples. After this attack thousands had lost their lives and Saddam had ordered that the Anfal campaign attack the surrounding Kurdish villages and destroy them, many survivors had died later after diseases had affected the people and many had different reactions like vomiting different coloured substances or other deficiencies due to exposure of these toxic gases and chemicals. Saddam had believed that he ruled Iraq with an iron fist due to his harsh ways with violence and striking fear into the hearts of the people who opposed him by his brutal violence executions. Saddam and Ali had killed about 50000 to 100000 Kurdish civilians. With Saddams plans in motion the outside world had denied that this war was genocide but declared it was just a civil war in the country due to politics in the country

After the Holocaust in Europe during the world war, the world had promised that they would never again allow genocide to go unnoticed for a long time. With this strong statement, the Kurdish genocide in Iraq was an example of one of the four major genocides that took place during the rest of the twentieth century. The Kurdish genocide occurred in Iraq from 1987 to 1989. During this time, more than 100,000 Iraqi Kurdish civilians’ most unarmed men, women, and children were killed through mass executions, chemical attacks on cities, and abused in jails and state monitored camps. In addition, over 2,000 Kurdish cities were destroyed. Although there was substantial evidence that innocent Kurdish civilians were being killed simply because they were Kurdish, the international community refused to believe that this war was genocide and just sat back and let thousands and thousands of innocent men, women and children die.

With these statements of this massacre that has affected Iraq very badly, it is stating that this was not a genocide but a civil war between two colonials fighting for land and wanting power so that one may rule the country, but this massacre was directly towards one ethnical racial group and aim to destroy the population of this group and was only against this group which clearly states and shows that this massacre stands right in the criteria of genocide, therefore this war in Iraq would be known as a genocide due to the fact that this massacre was against one ethnical group because of their beliefs and principles, this mass murder in this war and how it was planned with the same 8steps to genocide would certainly be acts of genocide with the evidence.
IN conclusion, this massacre in Iraq would defiantly be a genocide because of its shocking mass murders, executions and brutal abuse towards one group of people because of their beliefs and what they had believed that was right, with all the evidence and information that has been showed this would clearly go under genocide, therefor showing that this massacre was a genocide and one of the most horrific.

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