Turkey’s vice president on Tuesday remembered the victims of a chemical attack on the Iraqi city of Halabja which killed thousands of local Kurds.

“Today is the 33rd anniversary of the largest chemical attack targeting civilians in the history of humanity,” Fuat Oktay said on Twitter.

On March 16, 1988, some 5,000-7,000 Kurds, including babies, children, women, and the elderly, are estimated to have been killed during the Iran-Iraq war when forces loyal to Saddam Hussein dropped toxic mustard and sarin gases on Halabja.

Oktay wished Allah’s mercy on the victims of the attack and said: “I condemn all crimes against humanity and their perpetrators.”

While the attack left over 7,000 people wounded, thousands of others died of complications, illnesses, and birth defects in subsequent years. Many Halabja residents still suffer the physical effects of the attacks.

The first chemical attack in the Middle East, the Halabja massacre, known as the largest chemical weapons attack in history directed against a civilian-populated area, targeted Kurds who opposed Saddam Hussein’s regime.

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