It has taken nearly 22 years for Ali Hassan al-Majid to be judged by Iraqis for perpetrating one of the worst massacres in modern history, reports The Times. “Even peering out from the smudged window of an Iranian military helicopter, it was clear that a terrible crime had been committed against the inhabitants of Halabja, as part of a campaign by Saddam Hussein and his commanders to teach Iraqi Kurds the cost of siding with the enemy — at that time Iran. On the ground, the scale of the slaughter became clear. Entire families had been killed by the poison chemicals. Some died together huddled in makeshift shelters that offered no protection against the gas. One family was killed in their garden along with their pets. Another succumbed as they tried to escape by car. We found the vehicle crashed into a wall with the driver and all occupants dead and the keys in the ignition. The most poignant memory of that day was a father in traditional Kurdish dress lying dead at the entrance to his home cradling a baby.”
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