Tags: ML | Iraq | Chemical | Ali

Iraq's 'Chemical Ali' Infamous for 1988 Gas Attack

Monday, 25 Jan 2010 11:47 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Saddam Hussein's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, who was hanged Monday, ordered the infamous poison gas attack on the northern Iraqi Kurdish village of Halabja in 1988 that killed 5,000 people and earned him the chilling moniker "Chemical Ali."

Al-Majid was executed a week after he received his fourth death sentence, the final one for the Halabja attack. He bore a striking resemblance to Saddam and was one of the most brutal members of the dictator's inner circle.

The general led sweeping military campaigns in the 1980s and 1990s that claimed tens of thousands of lives — wiping out entire villages in attacks against rebellious Kurds and cracking down on Shiites in southern Iraq.

Al-Majid was one of the last high-profile members of the former Sunni-led regime still on trial in Iraq. His conviction and sentencing on Jan. 17 was his fourth death sentence.

Al-Majid was a warrant officer and motorcycle messenger in the army before Saddam's Baath party led a coup in 1968. He was promoted to general and served as defense minister from 1991-95, as well as a regional party leader.

In 1988, as the eight-year Iran-Iraq war was winding down, he commanded a scorched-earth campaign known as Anfal to wipe out a Kurdish rebellion in northern Iraq. An estimated 100,000 people — most of them civilians — were killed over less than a year. Later, al-Majid boasted about the attacks, as well as the separate March 16, 1988, gas attack on Halabja, where an estimated 5,000 people died.

He was also linked to crackdowns on Shiites in southern Iraq, including the bloody suppression of their 1991 uprising. In a previous trial, he was also sentenced to death for that crackdown.

The previous sentences were not been carried out in part because Halabja survivors wanted to have their case against him heard.

Al-Majid, was Saddam's "hatchet man," Kenneth Roth, head of Human Rights Watch in New York, remarked when the general was touring Arab capitals seeking support two months before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. "He has been involved in some of Iraq's worst crimes, including genocide and crimes against humanity."

Hazem al-Youssefi, a representative of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, once described al-Majid as a standout in a regime of criminals.

——

Associated Press Writer Maamoun Youssef contributed to this report from Cairo.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Defiant Michael Bloomberg Flying to Tel Aviv to Protest FAA Ban

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 22:58 PM

A defiant former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – in "solidarity with the Israeli people" – announced Tuesday nig . . .

Law Prof: Dueling ACA Rulings More About Federal Agencies' Power

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 22:28 PM

George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley says the conflicting rulings on Obamacare subsidies ha . . .

Jeff Sessions to House GOP: Reject Obama's $3.7B Border Request

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 21:54 PM

Sen. Jeff Sessions on Tuesday urged House Republicans to reject President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion emergency request  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved