Turkey's pro-Kurdish party asks parliament to recognize Anfal killings as genocide

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Murat Sarısaç has submitted a bill to parliament for the recognition of Anfal killings as genocide. The draft law said that the massacre in 1988 fits the United Nations' definition of a genocide.

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A lawmaker from Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has submitted a draft law to parliament on recognizing Anfal killings as genocide.

Deputy Murat Sarısaç said that the massacre falls under the United Nations' definition of a genocide.

During six months in 1988, tens of thousands of Kurds, the vast majority civilians, died during an Iraqi counter-insurgency campaign code-named the Anfal Operation (amaliyet al-Anfal).

The Anfal campaign was the culmination of long-standing efforts by the Ba‘ath regime to put an end to Kurdish aspirations toward greater autonomy and independence. It came toward the tail end of the Iran-Iraq war, a bloody eight-year conflict (1980-1988) that allowed Kurdish rebels to step into a security vacuum in the north to press for advantage.

Anfal was the regime’s revenge for what it perceived as unforgivable treason, as well as its way of settling the Kurdish national question definitively within the boundaries of the Iraqi state.

The draft law said that 182,000 Kurds were killed, 4,500 villages were burned and over one million people were displaced during Anfal killings.

It also mentioned Halabja chemical attack that took place on March 16, 1988, resulting in the deaths of over 5,000 civilian Kurds.

"In addition, due to the chemical attacks on Halabja and the surrounding areas, it's estimated that 43,753 people died and 61,200 people became permanently disabled," the draft law said.