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The Kurdish Genocide

Anfal Campaign

The Kurds
Enter Saddam Hussein
Anfal Campaign

The aim of the Anfal Campagin was to end the Kurdish resistance and eliminate any possible saboteurs. The first phase of Anfal consisted of a gendercide. First, families were taken from their homes and brought to detention centres. Then, they would separate the men and the women. Next, the would look through the men, sending children who were too young to wield a weapon back to their mothers and also sending away men who were too old. The remaining men, ages ranging from 15 to 50, were then sent to halls where they were kept for a while and were often beaten. After a few days, they were carried away in trucks to be executed en-masse.

Areas that had been declared as rebel territory were put under heavy watch, as were the surrounding areas. If anyone was found in these areas, they were shot on-sight.


Saddam Hussein’s cousin, Ali Hasan al-Majid, was in charge of what could be considered the worst attacks of the Anfal Campaign, the Chemical attacks. The best known chemical attack took place at Halabja in March 1988. For three days this town was bombarded with bombs, artillery fire, mustard gas and nerve agents. 5,000 people were immediately killed due to the chemical attack, and around 11,000 died during the three days. Today, some are still scarred by the chemicals that were released all those years ago.