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1983 Iraqi attack on Kurds ruled an 'act of genocide'

An Iraqi tribunal has ruled that a 1983 attack on the Barzani tribe in the Kurdish provinces of Iraq was an act of genocide, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said.

The KRG said as many as 8,000 members of the Barzani tribe, most of them men and boys, were rounded up and killed by the Baath Party of Saddam Hussein in 1983.

The reprisal came five years before the 1988 chemical attacks on Halabja in which 5,000 more Kurds were killed by Saddam’s forces.

The Kurds have been waging a decades long struggle, including a campaign of armed resistance, for self-rule from Arab-dominated Iraq.

Following the toppling of the Saddam regime, the KRG was set up as part of the new Iraq - despite the bitter opposition of the country's Arab majority.

KRG President Masoud Barzani said this week's ruling was a testament of the strength of Iraq's new judicial system.

"This ruling strengthens our confidence in the justice of our cause, and illustrates the scale of the injustices committed against our people," he said.

"What strengthens our faith is that the future is always an ally of the oppressed and brings shame and disgrace on the perpetrators."

See UPI’s report here