Iraqi First Lady Receives Anfal's Sole Survivor

Kurdistan 10:05 AM - 2024-02-20
 Iraqi First Lady Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmed and Taymour, the sole survivor of the infamous Anfal campaign. PUKMEDIA

Iraqi First Lady Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmed and Taymour, the sole survivor of the infamous Anfal campaign.

Iraqi First Lady Iraq Kurdistan Anfal

On Monday, February 19, 2024, Iraqi First Lady Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmed met with Taymour, the sole survivor of the infamous Anfal campaign, in Sulaymaniyah. They discussed the process of burying the newly repatriated remains of Anfal victims in the Kurdistan Region.

Taymour Anfal expressed gratitude to First Lady Shanaz for assisting in the significant effort to retrieve the remains of the Anfal victims. He also highlighted the significance of collecting blood samples from the relatives of the victims for DNA testing as a crucial stage in the process.

First Lady Shanaz assured Taymour that she has no doubt that no one can comprehend the suffering he endured as a survivor of mass graves. She pledged to transport the victims' remains to their hometowns in Garmian, Taqtaq, Koya, and other regions. This will facilitate the reunion of the Anfal victims' relatives with the remains of their deceased family members.

The group emphasized that this collaboration will persist after the burial ceremony and for the excavation of other mass graves in the future. First Lady Shanaz requested Taymour to oversee these proceedings from start to finish.

The forensic department in Baghdad kept the remains of 172 Anfal victims for nearly four years before transporting them to the Kurdistan Region. The remains were recently sent back to the Kurdistan Region but could not be buried without proper identification. A specialised team from Baghdad is currently in the Kurdistan Region at the request of Iraqi First Lady Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmed to collect blood samples from martyrs' relatives for DNA testing.

Statistics indicate that 270 mass graves have been unearthed since Iraq's liberation, with numerous further mass graves yet to be excavated. The majority of these graves are concentrated in the region bounded by Diwaniyah, Samawah, and Najaf provinces.

Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath dictatorial regime launched the Anfal campaign in February 1988, targeting the Kurdish civilian population and lasting until September of that year. It is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous examples of state-sponsored mass killings during Iraq's Ba'ath regime. The military and regular forces, including the First Corps in Kirkuk and the Fifth Corps in Erbil, as well as the Air Force, Special Forces, Republican Guard, Commando Forces, security and intelligence services, military intelligence, and chemical and biological weapons departments, were all mobilised to carry out these operations. The Anfal atrocities killed over 182,000 Kurdish civilians, including women, children, and the elderly.


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