Today marks the anniversary of the Anfal – Saddam Hussein’s brutal campaign against the Kurdish people in Iraq. Between fifty and one hundred thousand men, women and children were slaughtered during the Anfal campaign. Many more were maimed, separated from their families or forced from their homes. It is not just the scale of the atrocities that is hard to comprehend. It is the chilling fact that people conceived the plans, discussed them and carried them out.
Today our thoughts are with those mourning lost loved ones. We must mark this day to honour the memories of those who died and to ensure that we never forget Saddam Hussein’s monstrous crimes against the Kurdish people. But we must also mark it because the Anfal campaign was a warning of what can happen when evil goes unchecked.
Now all the people of Iraq face a new evil, in the form of Daesh. Daesh seek to tear apart the multicultural society that has existed in Iraq for centuries. Ultimately, the only way to protect the Iraqi people from Daesh is by defeating this barbaric organisation and their poisonous and hateful ideology. The UK is committed to supporting the Iraqi people in this fight.