The federal government should “fulfill its legal and ethical duties and compensate all the victims of the crimes perpetrated against the nation of Kurdistan,” the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said in a statement on Monday.
On the morning of April 24, 1974, Iraqi planes attacked the city as retaliation to growing demands for independence by Kurdish leaders, who expected Baghdad to live up to its word in the 1970 Iraqi-Kurdish Autonomy Agreement.
“Qaladiza has always been a fortress of defense and confrontation against invaders.
It was home to Kurdistan’s only university during the Great Aylul Revolution.
It was an important center for science, and the Baathists didn’t like it,” the statement added.
The Iraqi government attacked a regional campus of Sulamania University shortly after it had opened.
“Today, 43 years after this heinous crime by the Baathist regime, credit to our martyrs, the bravery of the Peshmerga, the resilience of Kurdistan’s nation and its strong will to advance, Kurdistan has tens of universities, educational and science centers which educate thousands of people in Kurdistan in every discipline to serve, reconstruct and develop the country,” the statement detailed.
An archival photo shows an unexploded bomb in Qaladiza.
File photo: Rudaw
The Kurdistan Region now has 18 public and 25 private universities or institutions for education, according to the Ministry of Higher Education.
“It is due to the martyrs of Qaladiza and Kurdistan on the whole that our nation is taking big steps to realize all its legal rights and is looking to a brighter future with greater hopes,” the statement explained.
Kurdish President Masoud Barzani, whose father, Mullah Mustafa Barzani, was a leader of the Kurdish nationalist movement during the attack stated the will of the resilient Kurdish people has prevailed.
“Qaladiza is a symbol of Kurdish resilience and high morale," stated the president on the occasion.
"The enemy wanted to destroy the morale of the people of this town, end life and revolutions in this region by bombing, later destroying the city and relocating its population."But the people of Qaladiza confronted the enemy with life and reconstruction.
The will to live and build finally overcame that of destruction."