Barzani: Partnership with Iraq has only guaranteed genocide of religious, ethnic minorities

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Baxtiyar Goran Baxtiyar Goran |
Barzani: Partnership with Iraq has only guaranteed genocide of religious, ethnic minorities
The memorial wall and plaque at St. Mary’s Parish in Tarzana, California, commemorating the Semel Massacre. (Photo: Archive)
Kurdistan Independence Referendum Christian Iraq Simele Massacre

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Partnering with Iraq has only guaranteed genocide and the slaughter of ethnoreligious minority groups, the Kurdistan Region’s President said in a statement on Sunday.

Masoud Barzani, the President of the Kurdistan Region, released a statement marking the 84th anniversary of the Semel massacre against Iraqi Christians committed by the Kingdom of Iraq in 1933.

Barzani noted the destruction of villages and the killing of innocent people due to their ethnic or religious identity by an Iraqi regime is something with which the people of Kurdistan are far too familiar.

“On the anniversary of the Chaldean, Syriac and Assyrian’s martyrs day, we honor and remember the souls of all victims, especially the fallen of the Semel Massacre,” Barzani said.

He stated, “The massacre committed by the Iraqi regime on August 7, 1933, martyred a lot of our Christian brothers. These tragedies should never be repeated.”

Barzani highlighted the massacre was yet more evidence that not only has the partnership with Iraq been “non-existent and meaningless,” but that genocide has defined Iraq’s treatment of ethnic and religious minorities in the country.

The 84th anniversary of Semel [also known as Simele] Massacre coincides with the anniversary of the barbaric attacks carried out by the Islamic State (IS) against Christians in the Nineveh Plains, the statement mentioned.

Barzani reaffirmed that all components of Kurdistan and northern Iraq who suffered atrocities at the hands of the Iraqi regime share the same destiny.

“Now that the people of Kurdistan are heading toward independence, the rights and interests of our Christian brothers and sisters will be protected every step of the way. The spirit of fraternity and peaceful coexistence will become stronger in Kurdistan,” Barzani declared.

“The only cure for our suffering and guarantee to prevent further atrocities from recurring is to seek independence,” Barzani concluded.

In 1933, the armed forces of the Kingdom of Iraq attacked Christian-populated villages near Semel, 14 kilometer west of the Duhok city, killing thousands of Assyrians.

Editing by G.H. Renaud