Kurdish Refugees 1991
Isikveren, Turkey.April 16, 1991..Kurdish families, being detained and sometimes aggressed by well armed Turkish soldiers, wait to be transported from a mountain top refugee camp. The camp became home to an estimated 300,000 refugees when they fled Saddam Hussein's post Gulf war persecution...In the wake of the 1991 Persian Gulf War rebellions in Southern and Northern Iraq occurred. The uprising in the Kurdish areas of Northern Iraq broke out in March, sparked by demoralized Iraqi Army troops returning from it's defeat against United States lead coalition forces in southern Iraq and Kuwait. Although they presented a threat to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein?s regime, his Iraqi Republican Guard suppressed the rebellion with massive force, as the expected US intervention never materialized. ..The faltering rebellion fueled a terrified mass exodus. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees called it the largest in its 40?year history. During March and early April, nearly two million of Iraqis escaped from strife-torn cities to the mountains along the northern borders and into Turkey and Iran. Their exodus was sudden and chaotic, with thousands fleeing on foot, on donkeys, or crammed onto open-backed trucks and tractors. Thousands, many of them children, died or suffered injury along the way, primarily from adverse weather, unhygienic conditions and insufficient food and medical care. Some were killed by army helicopters, which deliberately strafed columns of fleeing civilians. Others were injured when they stepped on land mines planted by Iraqi troops near the Iran border during the war. Greenpeace has estimated that at one point in 1991, an estimated 2,000 Kurds were dying every day..