Sardasht: First victim of chemical attack in world

IRNA – Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein attacked Sardasht, West Azarbaijan, northwestern Iran, with chemical weapons in 1987, making Sardasht of the first city in the world target of the weapons of mass destruction.

The footprints of arrogant countries were clearly seen in the humanitarian tragedy and its catastrophic consequences.

On June 28, 1987, Iraq bombarded four crowded points of Sardasht killing 119 innocent civilians and exposing more than 8,000 others to toxic gases, which maimed them for life.

The assault was very catastrophic that caused innumerable problems. Hiroshima was the first city bombarded with atomic weapons, and Sardasht was the first city attacked with chemical ones.

After the bombs hit the city, many people, who knew nothing of unconventional bombs, rushed to help their injured fellow countrymen, many of whom were still under the debris. This resulted in more people being chemically affected. Many of them were taken to the hospitals of Tehran, Tabriz, and Orumiyeh.

The Chemicals effects stayed with many of the injured people, especially children for years. Still, after about 32 years, many residents of the city are still suffering from the effects of the attacks and struggling for their lives.

Sardasht was repeatedly attacked during the eight-year war, but people of the city rebuilt what the Iraqi had destroyed, but they have been living with the wounds of the chemical attacks until now.

Some special medical centers were established in Sardasht to tend to the injured people and keep them under special clinical care.

More painful than their misery is the fact that the international communities, even the United Nations, never condemned the heinous crimes against humanity.

The international community’s overlooking the Iraqi Baath regime’s crimes in Sardasht green-lighted their attack on Halabja, located in Iraqi Kurdistan, claiming the life of at least 5,000 people and leaving some 7,000 injured ones.

They attacked Qaleh Ji and Dezli villages, located in Kordestan province, western Iran, and Oshnavieh, located in West Azarbaijan maiming more than 2,500 people with chemical weapons.

According to the most recent inspections, the Baath regime of Iraq used 6,000 chemical bombs in 242 assaults, a small part of which was reflected in Western media.

They attacked Qaleh Ji and Dezli villages, located in Kordestan province, western Iran, and Oshnavieh, located in West Azarbaijan maiming more than 2,500 people with chemical weapons.

According to the most recent inspections, the Baath regime of Iraq used 6,000 chemical bombs in 242 assaults, a small part of which was reflected in Western media.

Sardasht Chemical Victims Society attends the photo gallery of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague to pursue Iran’s demands to bring the case to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. They also hold a ceremony every year to commemorate the victims of the tragedy.

Thirty-two years after the sad incident, the people of Sardasht want the Iranian officials to tend to the injured people, pursue the Iraqi Baath regime commanders with the ICC for the crimes against humanity they perpetrated against Iran.

The named June 28 as the International Day of Countering the Convention Prohibiting the Chemical Weapons (CPCW).