Past eventResearch Event

Chemical Weapons: Lessons for the Future from Halabja

26 February 2013 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Chatham House, London


Richard Beeston, Foreign Editor, The Times
Alastair Hay, Professor of Environmental Toxicology, Molecular Epidemiology Unit, University of Leeds
Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, Kurdistan Regional Government High Representative to the UK
Chair: Dr Patricia Lewis, Research Director, International Security, Chatham House



The use of chemical weapons by Iraqi government forces on the Kurdish town of Halabja, in the final days of the Iran-Iraq war in March 1988, received worldwide attention. Halabja remains to this day the largest chemical weapons attack directed against a civilian-populated area in history, with around 5,000 people killed and 7,000-10,000 people injured.

This event will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the attack. Speakers will discuss what happened in Halabja, as well as explore present day threats of chemical warfare. Given the current concerns for the potential use of chemical weapons in Syria, the speakers will reflect on what can be learnt and understood from the events in Halabja, and the long term consequences of the use of such weapons, including the risks posed to health.

Read: Halabja and its Legacy: 25 Years On