Among the instructions to be carried out "in order to put an end to the hostile presence" in the marshes, as listed in the document, were the following: Carrying out "strategic security operations" in the region, such as causing explosions, poisoning the environment and burning homes, in order to worsen the security situation there. President Saddam Hussein's slow genocide of the Marsh Arabs is reaching its climax. Enforced disappearances of many of the Marsh Arabs arrested during the 1990s, whose fate and whereabouts remain unresolved to date; Where possible, the injured were smuggled to Iran for treatment, but the journey was hazardous and some did not survive it. 43 United Nations, Report on the situation of human rights in Iraq, February 25, 1994, E/CN.4/1994/58, p. 6, para. After coalition forces drove Iraqi troops from Kuwait in the Gulf War, rebellions spread across the south and north of the country. "The army's favourite tactic is to blow up villages selectively and then sow mines in the water before retreating," wrote the Observer journalist Shyam Bhatia, who visited the marshes in 1993. It proceeded to do this through a range of methods that set the pattern for the next several years. 71 Fawcett and Tanner, The Internally Displaced People of Iraq, p. 33. According to U.S. government sources, an estimated 160 homes were reportedly razed to the ground on June 29, 1998, in the village of al-Masha.66. Except when it violated the terms of the 1991 ceasefire agreement by using fixed-wing aircraft within the zone, Iraq was essentially left to conduct ground operations backed by helicopters (which were not prohibited under the ceasefire agreement) with impunity. 15-16, paras. Now we can put it … Food smugglers who were caught were often harshly dealt with, including by summary execution. "58 In its 2001 report, UNEP also noted that "most of the reclaimed lands as depicted in the 2000 image of Landsat have remained barren since the works were completed in 1993/94, and there is little sign of new cultivation. She said the Madan would not be able to return home unless Saddam Hussein was replaced by an administration which would allow the marshes to be re-flooded. 7 UNEP Press Release, May 18, 2001: "The Fertile Crescent, One Of The World's Most Important Wetlands, Devastated By Drainage". Water levels began to drop. Accounts received by the special rapporteur from refugees indicated that scores of people from targeted tribes had been arrested or had their homes demolished, that entire villages and surrounding lands were seized to serve as military outposts, and that the water supply to certain areas had been deliberately cut off.67 An estimated 150 people were reportedly executed in al-`Amara. Starting in 1991, in part to facilitate entry into the area by the armed forces, authorities built a series of dams, dikes, and canals aimed at preventing the waters of the Tigris and the Euphrates from flowing into the marshes. 17. The drainage works had already devastated the local economy, reflected in a significant decrease in fish supplies, and a decline in agricultural production and animal husbandry.56 The drying out of the reed beds deprived local inhabitants of the principal raw material used in the construction of boats, shelters, and various household items, and led to the disappearance of the local cane handicrafts industry. Food smugglers who were caught were often harshly dealt with, including by summary execution.47 The U.N. special rapporteur, citing reports from marshes refugees reaching Iran, said that the authorities had denied families who refused to relocate to government housing the monthly food supplies distributed in accordance with the ration card system introduced following the imposition of U.N. sanctions.48 This compounded an already dire situation since, by virtue of the isolation and inaccessibility of the marshlands, some of the Ma'dan were not officially registered in government records and did not possess the identity cards necessary to register for the receipt of rations. 5-6. Although in this and one other case the government later announced it had arrested, tried, and executed the alleged assassins, many Iraqis suspect that the killings were ordered by the government.6. 28 The first allegations of the use of napalm against civilians emerged in late 1991, when the AMAR Foundation reported that villagers living near the border with Iran had sustained burns consistent with the use of napalm. It also redeployed troops and weaponry that had been withdrawn from the area for the duration of the U.N. delegation's visit (Trevor Rowe, "U.N. Says Iraq `Tricked' Aid Mission," Washington Post, July 19, 1991). XLV, No. According to local inhabitants from the area who fled to Iran, Iraqi troops equipped with gas masks bombarded the village on September 26 with shells emitting "a thick, white, ball-shaped gas cloud that hung a few yards above the ground for about an hour, causing breathing difficulties. 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