Learning from history in Syria

The following letter appears in the Times.

The world must condemn any chemical weapons attacks in Syria — the Kurdish people in Iraq know the effects only too well

Sir, The Foreign Secretary must follow through on his statement that the international community should hold the Assad regime to account for its use of chemical weapons in Syria (report, Apr 16). The evidence that chemical weapons have been used appears to be mounting. The world must show that such barbaric attacks will not be tolerated.

The Kurdish people in Iraq know what it is like to be attacked with chemical weapons. In Halabja, in March 1988, 5,000 people were gassed to death and many more were injured.

We urge the Government to formally recognise the Kurdish genocide. We said “never again”, but on the 25th anniversary of the attack on Halabja, we are discussing such weapons being used again — by Assad.

This is why the genocide against the Kurds must be recognised internationally, as only then can we stop it happening again elsewhere.

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman
High Representative to the UK, Kurdistan Regional Government

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