Shafaq News / Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Masrour Barzani, has issued a statement on the 34th anniversary of the Halabja Chemical Attack.
The statement said, "On the 34th anniversary of the chemical attack on Halabja, we honor the martyrs of this odious crime by the Ba'athist regime."
"Halabja represents a prominent enlightening center and home for poets, writers, academics", he added, "it has become a symbol of the struggle and sacrifice of the Kurdish people."
The Prime Minister said it is Baghdad's responsibility to ensure the families of the martyrs and the wounded are compensated for this crime against humanity, based on article 132 of the Iraqi constitution.
"Although the Kurdistan Regional Government had recognized Halabja as an independent governorate, it is unfortunate that the Federal government still doesn't treat it as so. The required steps to transform it into a governorate are still faced by many problems and obstacles", the statement added.
The Prime Minister called on Baghdad to solve Halabja's issue and recognize it as an independent governorate, noting that KRG will proceed with establishing all state departments in it.
On the morning of March 16, 1988, Iraqi warplanes and artillery pounded the Kurdish town of Halabja with mustard gas and the deadly nerve agent sarin.
Some 5,000 people – mainly women and children – died on the day, and up to 12,000 have lost their lives since.
On the morning of Eid al-Adha on December 30, 2006, the former dictator, Saddam Hussein, was hanged for crimes against humanity.
Three years later, Ali Hassan al-Majid, better known as Chemical Ali, was executed after he was found guilty of ordering the attack.