What is Anfal?
Anfal (‘Spoils of War’) is the name of the eighth sura of the Koran. This is also the name the Iraqis gave to a series of genocidal military actions between late February and early September 1988 which led to the deaths of up to 182,000 rural Kurds. In this series of film testimonials survivors describe their experiences of Anfal.
Peshmerga means literally ‘those who face death.’ The term is believed to have been coined just after the short-lived Kurdistan Republic of Mahabad was set up in Iran in 1946. It refers to Kurdish freedom fighters who resisted oppressive regimes across the Middle East.
In 1963, the ruling Ba’ath Party moved to establish Arab control over the oil rich territories around Kirkuk. It forced Kurdish, Turkman and Assyrian farmers off their lands and replaced them with Arab settlers. This process continued intermittently for almost four decades.
The Ba’athist Regime Targets the Kurds
Kurdish villages had to adapt to being attacked by Iraqi government forces in the late 1970s and 1980s after the Iraqi regime grew increasingly aggressive towards its own population.