Place of burial of people killed by ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s poison gas attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja in northern Iraq on March 16, 1988.
Britain’s duplicitous approach to the Kurds has been exposed as the Commons formally agrees to recognize the genocide of hundreds of thousands of Kurds in Iraq while the country faces accusations of providing the defunct Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein with weapons.
The British parliament on Friday officially recognized the Anfal attacks against Iraqi Kurds as the “Kurdish genocide”.
Anfal involved a series of attacks against Iraq’s Kurdish population in the late 1980s by the ousted dictator Saddam Hussein. The attacks, in which over 200,000 Kurds were killed, included the use of chemical weapons, firing squads and mass deportation.
The formal recognition of the murders as genocide by the UK parliament comes on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Halabja massacre, in which poison gas was used against Kurds in northern Iraq.
The decision follows a year-long campaign to raise awareness of the genocide in Britain and to gather signatures for a petition calling on the UK government to acknowledge that the crimes committed against the Kurds amounted to genocide.
Almost 28,000 people have signed the petition so far, calling on the British government to break the silence on the Kurdish murders.
Iraqi-born Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi put forward the motion that the British parliament recognizes the Kurdish genocide and will encourage the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) to do the same.
One of the main sponsors of the motion, Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, criticized the British government’s support for the Ba’ath regime at the time, urging the UK to adopt a more self-critical stance concerning the period of recent history.
In the 1980s, the US and Britain backed Saddam in the Iraqi-imposed war against Iran, giving Iraq arms, money, satellite intelligence, and even chemical and biological weapons.
Britain’s hypocritical stance could be also seen in relation to the terrorist group Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO).
The UK government removed the MKO of its terror list in 2008, followed by the European Union in 2009.
The MKO fled to Iraq in 1986, where it received the support of Iraq’s executed dictator Saddam Hussein, and set up its camp near the Iranian border.
The group cooperated with Saddam in the massacres of Iraqi Kurds and in suppressing the 1991 uprisings in southern Iraq. The MKO is also responsible for the deaths of 17,000 Iranians since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.