In commemoration of this disaster, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) reiterated "its seriousness in serving the injured, caring for the lives of the families and relatives of the victims of the chemical attack, and delivering more services to Halabja.”“The government considers it an important and main duty to deliver better services to the province of Halabja and its honorable people,” a KRG statement added.Around 5,000 Kurds died and more than 10,000 were wounded when Saddam Hussein’s regime bombed the city of Halabja with chemical weapons on March 16, 1988, during the Iran-Iraq war.
“We expect the Iraqi government to live up to its legal and moral duties toward this province and its people, to care for them and provide for material and immaterial compensation to its environment and people as victims of the country of Iraq,” read the statement.Halabja is a “symbol of pain and sacrifice of our nation as well as a symbol of our endurance and being alive.”The province is the southeast of the Kurdistan Region along the border with Iran.“We will forever remember the victims and loved ones we lost in this heartbreaking disaster,” the statement said.
A portion of a cemetery in Halabja lists the name of each family member killed during the Halabja massacre.
File photo: Rudaw English Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi wrote his thoughts on Facebook on the anniversary of the tragedy. “Today we remember the tragedy of Halabja where our memories remember an unforgettable pain and the deep wounds left by the brutality of the dictatorship which ordered to attack the innocent [people] with toxic chemical gases in a genocide which stunned all humanity and shook the conscience of the world," said the PM.Adil-Mahdi described the attack as yet another "genocide" committed against Iraqis.“It was another black day on the history of Saddam’s Baathist crimes against our Kurdish people who, like the rest of Iraqis faced crimes of death, destruction, and genocide," he wrote.“Halabja was and will remain a symbol of sacrifice and witness to the ugliness of dictatorship.”
Following the approval of Iraqi government's interior ministry, the KRG issued a decree on Wednesday, allowing Halabja provincial traffic police authorities to issue plates for the province's vehicles for the first time.
Amanj Rahim, secretary of the Council of Minister's Secretary said in a Facebook post.
The procedures for the issuance of the plates will begin after Newroz holidays.Those affected by the toxic gasses continue to suffer their lingering effects. Events and ceremonies are planned throughout Kurdistan to remember one of the Kurdish peoples' darkest days.RELATED: A guarded secret that finally brought a missing child of Halabja home