Page 1 of 1

US consul general pays tribute at tomb of Mustafa Barzani

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:38 am
Author: Anthea
US consul general pays tribute at
tomb of Mullah Mustafa Barzani

US Consul General to Erbil Steve Fagin visited Barzan on Monday to pay his respects at the tomb of Kurdish revolutionary Mullah Mustafa Barzani and to learn more about the Baathist slaughter of the Barzani tribe

“It’s a pleasure to be here today to pay my respect to Mullah Mustafa Barzani, the Barzani family, and frankly to the Kurdish people and to understand more about the tragedies that the Barzani family and the Kurdish people experienced under the tyranny of the former regime of Iraq,” Fagin told Rudaw.

Fagin was accompanied by Peshmerga commander and Korek telecoms magnate Sirwan Barzani.

“The US consul general is in Barzan today to understand more about the tragedies the Baathist regime committed against the people of the Kurdistan Region,” Barzani told Rudaw.

Mullah Mustafa is the father of former Kurdistan Region president Masoud Barzani and founder of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

After developing lung cancer, Mustafa traveled to the US for treatment. He died at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington DC on March 1, 1979.

After his initial burial in Oshnavieh, Iran, his remains were moved to his hometown of Barzan in 1993. He now rests alongside his son Idris, father of Nechirvan Barzani – now president of the Kurdistan Region.

The Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein launched repeated attacks on the Kurdish people from the late 1970s until the early 1990s in a period known as the Anfal campaign.

The Barzani tribe, which played a leading role in successive revolutionary waves against the Baath, suffered savage reprisals.

Political dissent was not tolerated under the Baath, and hundreds of thousands of Kurds and Shiites were disappeared. Many were herded into trucks and taken to Iraq’s southern deserts where they were murdered and buried in mass graves.

The Anfal campaign took place over eight phases – beginning in 1986 and reaching its peak in 1988. Some 182,000 people died.

The most notorious episode of the Anfal was the gas attack on Halabja, where 5,000 people were killed outright and a further 10,000 injured. Many more suffered the long term health effects of the toxic fumes. The campaign culminated in the closing weeks of the Iran-Iraq war.

The US has long been a strong supporter and ally of the Kurds and what later became the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The Kurds of Iraq have long admired the Americans for imposing the no-fly zone in 1991 which protected them from Saddam’s retribution – and ultimately led to the creation of the Kurdistan Region.

However, America’s help only came after thousands of Kurds had already been forced to flee north in the 1991 exodus, prompted by the failed rebellion encouraged by then-US President George H W Bush.

Since then, and particularly after the 2003 invasion that removed Saddam, the US has been a keen military, trade, and diplomatic partner. This relationship grew ever closer with the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) in summer 2014.

US-led coalition forces helped prevent the jihadists from seizing Kurdish cities and offered training, weapons, and technical expertise to the Peshmerga, training 26,000 soldiers since 2014.

US forces are still providing support in counterterror operations against ISIS remnants and sleeper cells.

Congress is reviewing a $750 billion defense budget for Fiscal Year 2020, which includes $126 million for the salaries of two Peshmerga brigades and $95 million for Peshmerga reforms.

However, many Kurds felt let down by the US when it refused to endorse the Region’s independence referendum in September 2017. Kurds were also frustrated when the US did not intervene to prevent the Iraqi Army and Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitias taking over Kirkuk and the disputed territories by force in October that year.

Relations have since vastly improved between Erbil and Baghdad, especially since Adil Abdul-Mahdi became prime minister of Iraq. This is in part thanks to mediation efforts by the US and other Western allies.

Asked by Rudaw’s reporter what he thought of President Nechirvan Barzani’s efforts to mend the Kurdistan Region’s relationship with the federal government in Baghdad, Fagin acknowledged there had been good progress, but that more needs to be done.

“There has been progress made in the relationship between the government of Iraq and Kurdistan Regional Government in these past months, and we hope for more progress to be made in resolving some of the key differences between Baghdad and Erbil,” Fagin said.

Re: US consul general pays tribute at tomb of Mustafa Barzan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:39 pm
Author: Piling
I visited twice the place (or 3 ?) but the best was the first one. In 1994, Barzan, as 5000 villages were destroyed but fortunately Barzani's tomb was still there (When Saddam ordered to destroy the village they erased even the cemeteries, the Muslim, Christian and Jewish 's).

The tomb was very simple, a square of earth with yellow dried grass (in Spring there are poppies). Our guise was an old Peshmerga who fought with him since 1960's. He stood up front of the grave, made a military salute and silently cried.
People called him Mam Brahim and I put him in my novel, as a valiant Kurdish outlawed in 1188.

Re: US consul general pays tribute at tomb of Mustafa Barzan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:36 pm
Author: Anthea
Some people forget that without the Barzanis there would be NO Kurdistan :((