1920-1939 | Bombing villages | Burning villages | Collective punishments | Kurdistan | Livestock targeted | Punitive operations | RAF crimes

Kurdish valley of villages set on fire ‘from end to end’

12 September 1921 On Monday 12 September 1921, at 0530 hours the first pair of RAF biplane bombers, of Number 55 Squadron, took off from Mosul to take part in a surprise day long assault by mounted troops and aircraft on four Kurdish villages in the Harir Valley, some thirty miles north east of Erbil…

1920-1939 | Bombing towns & cities | Kurdistan | RAF crimes

Crowded tea shop obliterated as RAF target rebel Kurdish chief

16 August 1923 On 16 August 1923, the RAF conducted a surprise bombing attack on the home of the Sheikh Mahmud Barzanji in the Kurdish town of Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq. He was becoming dangerously popular among a population who felt the British were cheating them of their independence and was suspected of conspiring against…

1920-1939 | Bombing towns & cities | Collective punishments | Kurdistan | Punitive operations | RAF crimes

RAF drop 400 gallons of petrol and incendiaries on a Kurdish town

10 July 1922 On 10 July 1922, the small Kurdish town of Rowanduz was subjected to the first of a series of bombing raids by the RAF. Rowanduz was situated in northern Iraq, a country which was then under British military administration and a colony, in all but name. Group Captain Amyas Borton explained in…

1920-1939 | Bombing towns & cities | Kurdistan | RAF crimes

RAF bombing devastates the Kurdish town of Sulaymaniyah

27 May 1924 Today in 1924, the RAF initiated what it described as the ‘intensive bombing’ of the town of Sulaymaniyah in the kurdish region of north eastern Iraq. The local governor, Sheikh Mahmud Barzanji, was reported to have been raising illegal taxes, which the British feared might be the first stage in a planned…

1920-1939 | Kurdistan | Livestock targeted | Punitive operations | RAF crimes

RAF bombing raids against flocks of grazing sheep

8 January 1925 On 8 January 1925, RAF headquarters in Baghdad ordered No 30 Squadron RAF to bomb and machine gun the grazing sheep flocks of the nomadic Jaff, who inhabited the Kurdish areas of Iraq and Iran. The official pretext given in a confidential Air Ministry report was that it was a ‘punishment for…

1920-1939 | 1900-1919 | Burning villages | Civilians slaughtered | Executions | Kurdistan

8 SEPTEMBER

18 EXECUTIONS ‘INSPIRED THE NATIVES WITH A WHOLESOME DREAD’ [ 8 September 1857 ] Eighteen Indian mutineers were summarily executed at the town of Satara on 8 September 1857. According to the Morning Advertiser, they met their fate ‘in the presence of an immense multitude of people… Five of the prisoners were hanged, six were…