Christine Gosden, University of Liverpool, Professor of Medical Genetics
Topic: Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction.
3/27/2003: WASHINGTON, DC: 30 min.
Professor Gosden discusses the medical and health consequences of the use of Weapon of Mass Destruction by the Iraqi regime against the civilian population of Iraqi Kurdistan in Halabja and 200 other locations during the genocidal Anfal campaign directly ordered by Saddam Hussein.
15 March 2003
President Bush Remembers Halabja
Where is Halabja?
Halabja is a small town in the governorate of Sualimaniyah in Iraqi kurdistanIt lies 250 km north-east of Baghdad and 11 kilometers from the Iranian border.
What happened in Halabja?
On March 16th 1988, Iraqi jets bombed the town of Halabja with chemical weapons. At least 5,000 people were killed and 7,000 severely injured. Fourteen years on, thousands are still suffering the affects of the chemical weapons.
The gases used included mustard gas, nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX. This was the largest chemical attack on a civilian population ever.
Who was responsible?
Iraqi forces under the command of Ali Hassan Majid, infamously known as Ali Chemical by the Kurds, were responsible for this despicable act of inhumanity.
The Government of Iraq carried out a genocidal campaign against the Kurds during 1988, near the end of the Iraq-Iran War. It was conducted under the codename “Anfal.” The Anfal was a campaign carried out in several stages primarily between February and September 1988 and was to be the Iraqi government’s permanent solution to the Kurdish problem.
Of all the atrocities committed against the Kurds during the Anfal, Halabja has come to symbolize the worst of the repression of the Iraqi Kurds. Halabja was a town of between 40-50,000 people located about 11 kilometers from the Iranian border. It became the target of conventional and chemical bomb attacks over three days in March of 1988.
During those three days, the town and the surrounding district were unmercifully attacked with bombs, artillery fire, and chemicals. The chemical weapons were the most destructive of life. The chemicals used included mustard gas and the nerve agents sarin, tabun, and VX. At least 5,000 people died immediately as a result of the chemical attack and it is estimated that up to 12,000 people in all died during the course of those three days.