Kurds in northern Iraq have been commemorating the 25th anniversary of the chemical weapons attack on the town of Halabja by Saddam Hussein’s forces. An estimated 5,000 people, mostly women and children, were killed when Iraqi jets dropped poison gas on the town. Many others died later of cancer and other illnesses, and the legacy of chemical contamination persists. The attack on Halabja on 16 March 1988 has been considered most notorious act of chemical warfare in modern times.
The atrocity at Halabja scarred the collective memory of Iraqi Kurds and hardened their determination to run their own affairs autonomously within a loose Iraqi federation.
Hopelessness pervades this area of Iraq. The trauma of the attacks, along with the continued pressure of poverty and displacement, has taken its toll. Medical needs range from psychological problems, to birth defects, to a significant rise in the cancer rate. Pray for healing among the Kurds of Iraq.
Many Kurdish people feel that the world has forgotten them. The Kurds need to know that they will never be forgotten by the heavenly Father who loves them. Ask God to reveal Himself to the Kurds at this time of remembering the pain and loss of this evil act.