Victims of Saddam’s Halabja massacre commemorated on 29th anniversary

The Halabja memorial in to commemorate those killed in the chemical attack on 16 March 1988

Victims of the Halabja massacre have been honoured on the 29th anniversary of the chemical attack, which killed at least 5,000 people, wounding thousands of others.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Halabja memorial in the Kurdistan region from the early hours of the morning for a string of events to commemorate those killed, mostly women and children. An official commemoration was also held at the Halabja Governorate.

An old Kurdish man sits amongst the graves of those killed in Halabja, (c) Reuters

Kurdish parties condemn massacre

Officials from all the political parties in the Kurdistan region and representatives of foreign missions attended the events.

Political parties from other Kurdish regions also made statements vowing to never forget the massacre and prevent similar incidents from happening again.

Photos of the killed only hours after the chemical attack in Halabja.

HDP asks for Halabja to be recognised as genocide in Turkey

Turkey’s pro-autonomy Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) renewed its call on the country’s parliament to recognise the incident as an act of genocide, a step Iraq has already taken.

The 5-hour aerial gas attack on Halabja, a small city on the Iran-Iraq border on 16 March 1988, was part of the western-backed Baath regime’s Al-Anfal Campaign (1986 to 1988) against mainly Kurds, but also Turkmen and Christians living in Iraq’s north.

The campaign led to the death of some 180,000 people, destroyed at least 4,500 Kurdish villages and displaced a million, according to Iraqi and Kurdish sources. Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom recognise the campaign as genocide.