Chemical Ali’s death celebrated in Arbil

ARBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan — A lot has happened today. It seems the assault on Baghdad has begun, with a number of important and symbolic buildings now under control of the Americans, including a number of Saddam’s presidential palaces. Perhaps most dramatically for the Kurds, though, the British say they have killed Ali Hassan al-Majid (“Chemical Ali”) in the attack on Basra. Al-Majid was the man in charge of the Halabja massacre in 1988 that left 5,000 Kurds dead.

In the Internet cafe where I was typing this, several young Kurds were hard-pressed to pull themselves away from Al Jazeera, which was broadcasting the Fox News coverage from inside one of the captured palaces. They gaped and then tut-tutted at the gold platings in the bathrooms on the screen.

“In four days, Saddam will be gone,” said Faisal Adil, 24, a final-year law student at the University of Sulahaddin near Arbil. As for al-Majid, “We are very happy now,” he continued. “He was a criminal. He was a killer, a Kurdish killer.”

One Comment on “Chemical Ali’s death celebrated in Arbil”

  1. Americans in Baghdad

    As I’m sure everyone who reads Warblogging knows by now, American forces are currently in Baghdad, as the AP reports.