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…

1990-1999 | Iraq

19 FEBRUARY

PILOT’S CONFESSION UNDERMINES PRETEXT OF BOMBING IRAQ TO PROTECT KURDS [ 19 February 1998 ] On 19 February 1998, Flight Lieutenant John Nichols made an enlightening, but shocking, admission during a World in Action discussion on ITV. He explained that when he was based at a Turkish airfield to patrol Northern Iraq, there were also…