ARBIL / Aswat al-Iraq: Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani praised the formal recognition by the Swedish parliament of the Anfal Campaign, which was launched by ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein against the Kurds in the late 1980s, as genocide and crimes against humanity.
“This decision by the Swedish Parliament tells us that Kurds and Kurdistan aren’t alone,” PM Barzani said.
“This decision gives the Kurds the assurance that the world hasn’t forgotten their suffering, and that they won’t let them be killed in massive numbers again,” he added.
The prime minister said that, at a time when a European country recognizes Kurdish suffering from the Anfal campaign, the Kurdistan Region is facing new threats of military aggression by Iraq.
He said that Kurdish constitutional rights have not been fully achieved.
Barzani was referring to a weeks-old tense stand-off between Erbil and Baghdad, which was triggered after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki dispatched his controversial Dijla forces into disputed territories.
Those northern lands are also claimed by Iraq’s autonomous
Kurdish Regional Government, which dispatched thousands of its own Peshmerga fighters into the territories.
“I hope this decision by the Swedish parliament encourages the Iraqi criminal court to compensate the victims of the Anfal Campaign,” the premier said.
Last month, an official delegation from the Kurdish parliament visited Sweden to meet with Swedish MPs and encourage them to throw their support behind the motion.
The Anfal Campaign refers to the deadly attacks on the Kurds in the final stages of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, which included Saddam’s use of poison gas to decimate inhabitants of the Kurdish town of Halabja.