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Chemical Warfare in the Kurdish Conflict

Dublin Core


Chemical Warfare in the Kurdish Conflict


Chemical warfare.
Anfal Campaign, Iraq, 1986-1989.
Anfal Campaign, Iraq, 1986-1989 -- Chemical warfare.
Majīd, ‘Alī Hasan.
Hussein, Saddam -- 1937-2006.


Oral history video clip featuring Asad Gozeh, Kurdish survivor of the al-Anfal Campaign. This video was originally produced by Media Entertainment, Inc., for the 2000 documentary The Genocide Factor.


Media Entertainment, Inc.


Genocide Factor Collection, Oral History Program, Tampa Library,
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.


Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.




Gozeh, Asad


Tape number: 4113E


video / mp4




Oral History


Kurdistān (Iraq)

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Saunders, Pamela


Gozeh, Asad


In 1987, Saddam was busy with Iran-Iraq War, and the Kurds were fighting Saddam Hussein at the same time. The Kurds were controlling much of their territory: except the main roads, nothing was under the control of Saddam Hussein. So Saddam pointed his cousin, 'Alī Hasan al-Majīd, who is famous now that they call him "'Alī Chemical." During that time in '87, in March '87, he gave him his orders that he will represent Saddam Hussein in the Kurdish section of Iraq, and gave him all the authorities that he can use. So this was a step to change. We knew that 'Alī Hasan al-Majīd is going to use chemical weapons. What happens that the population of the Kurds was growing, and Arabic population of Iraq was busy with Iran-Iraq War. The Kurds refused to be part of Iran-Iraq War. So Saddam was very worried about the population of the Kurds, so he tried to use a weapon that can pull the Kurds out of the mountains, put them in collective towns, and kill as many as he can in a fast, quick way. The Kurds always say the only friend that we have is our mountains, but with chemical weapons, even that friend didn't work. If you were hiding in a cave, it could be worse for you if you face chemical weapons because the chemicals will--you get stuck in the cave and you will definitely die. If you are out you have a chance to survive, but if you are inside the cave. So Saddam Hussein did everything he can to eliminate the Kurdish population in Iraq.

First time the usage of chemical weapons happened was in April 16. In April 15, they used it not in the place that I was living, but fifty, sixty miles far from me. They used chemical weapons, but they used artillery and they used mustard gas. The amount of chemical in the artillery shell or bomb is small amount, so it didn't have that effect. Later they used it in valley of Balisan. They used it against--in the middle of the valley, against five villages. Eight planes came; they dropped big bombs. And see, those plane can carry--Sukhoi planes can carry six tons, so this was a large amount of mustard gas. What happened, they put it--this is a mountainous valley. They used the chemicals higher: they dropped the chemicals higher than the villages, behind the villages on the ridge of the mountain. Chemicals are heavy. They came down through the village and killed about 300 people in the first day.

Original Format

Beta tape




Media Entertainment, Inc., “Chemical Warfare in the Kurdish Conflict ,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed January 21, 2019,