Saddam Hussein's cousin told a court Wednesday that he does not regret any decision he made while crushing a Kurdish uprising during the late 1980s, adding that the government's campaign didn't target Kurds because of their ethnicity.
Ali Hassan al-Majid said the goal was to put an end to a Kurdish revolt in northern Iraq. "If I have committed any wrongdoing against any Iraqi, then I am ready to apologize to him," al-Majid said, according to the AP. "If you asked me why have you done this, my answer is that we were compelled to do so to stop the shedding of Iraqi blood that was running for more than 25 years."
Al-Majid is one of six defendants who still face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity stemming from the Anfal military campaign during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.
Al-Majid stated the government was targeting rebels - not Kurds on the basis of their ethnicity.
During Wednesday's session, the prosecution showed several documents, including one that was dated in March but did not give a year. It said Iraqi warplanes bombed "some of the saboteurs' headquarters in (Kurdish) Saway village and a chemical strike was launched that led to the killing of 50 saboteurs and wounding of 30."
Speaking about the documents, al-Majid said "all decisions I took were for a reason," which was to end the bloodshed caused by the Kurdish rebellion. Offering no apology, he said "I am not defending myself and it is not an apology because I have committed no mistake that I need to apologize for."
Al-Majid said the government attacked the Kurds because they were cooperating with the "Iranian enemy, with which we were at war." The Iran-Iraq war left 1 million people killed on both sides.
"It is not part of our ideology or policy to be against an ethnic group," he said.