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How The Holocaust Compares To One Other Form Of Modern Genocide (Kurdish Genocide)

1493 words - 6 pages

Suhayl Kassam 9T
YEAR NINE END OF UNIT ASSESSMENTTHE HOLOCAUST: STUDIES OF SUFFERINGFEBRUARY 2009I decided to choose the genocide in Northern Iraq from 1986 to 1989. This genocide was mainly against the Kurdish population, and it was led by Saddam Hussein (the president at the time) and his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid. It is called the al-Anfal campaign, after the eighth chapter of the Quran which talks about the first major battle of Islam, at Badr (624 CE) where the Muslim army received divine intervention and defeated the opposing army who were three times larger than them. It literally means, 'spoils of war'.The definition of genocide according to the CPPCG (The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide) is "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."The Kurds are a group of people of Indo-European origin who are a minority in the countries they live in. Most of them live in the Middle East, and near that area, and after the Kurdish Diaspora they can be found in Europe and North America. After the destruction of the Ottoman Empire, many had to abandon their Kurdish identity and follow the nationalism of the countries they were in. Many Kurds would rebel against the rulers of these countries, and be met by harsh actions.There were many reasons for this genocide. These included: arabization, where Kurds were removed from oil field areas and the land 'cleansed' and that the Kurds had rebelled and they needed to be controlled. There was no proper reason, though.The Anfal campaign used many form of weapons, these included the use of ground offensives, aerial bombing, the systematic destruction of settlements, mass deportation, concentration camps, firing squads, and chemical warfare. This earned al-Majid the name of "Chemical Ali". The Iraqi forces had 200,000 soldiers with air support, whilst the Kurds had a few thousand guerrilla forces. Estimates vary in relation to fatalities, but the number is between 100,000 and 200,000 Kurds. It is also said that there were as many as 100,000 widows and even more orphans. Furthermore, 50,000 to 100,000 women and children were killed, who did not take part in any fighting. 4,000 (out of 4,655) villages were destroyed and 250 were exposed to chemical weapons. To add to that, 1,754 schools, 270 hospitals, 2,450 mosques and 27 churches were destroyed. 90% of villages were destroyed in the targeted areas.In the concentration camp of Topzawa near the city of Kirkuk, the fit males were split from the rest, and there was no specific identity check...

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