10th anniversary commemoration

Families of Camp Speicher Massacre victims demand justice

WASIT — On Thursday, officials, activists, and families of those slain in the Camp Speicher Massacre lit candles at Speicher Martyrs Park in Kut, the capital of Wasit Governorate, to mark the 10th anniversary of the massacre.

On June 12, 2014, Islamic State militants killed roughly 1,700 unarmed Iraqi Air Force cadets at Camp Speicher near Tikrit. The attack, primarily targeting Shia cadets, ranks among the deadliest terrorist incidents in Iraq’s history.

The massacre claimed the lives of 84 young men from Wasit Governorate; some of their bodies have not yet been found.

A woman going by Umm [mother of] Haider, whose son was among those killed, shared her pain with 964media: “My son enlisted on June 10, 2014. He called us the next day, and everything seemed fine, but then we lost contact. We haven’t heard from him since.”

In 2014, the Islamic State captured large areas of Iraq and Syria, proclaimed a “caliphate,” and launched a reign of terror. The group was expelled from Iraq in 2017 by Iraqi forces and Peshmerga, with support from a U.S.-led coalition. Their final territories in Syria were lost in 2019 to U.S.-backed Kurdish forces.

“We urge the government to remember our plight and our rights,” Umm Haider continued. “There are families who have yet to receive benefits or land grants. Most importantly, we demand increased efforts to recover our sons’ bodies.”

“The 10th anniversary brings immense sorrow,” she said. “We lit candles with tears and anguish. What happened to our sons was a treacherous act that shames humanity, but their blood has helped forge a united and healing Iraq, which consoles us in our grief.”

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani met with the families on Thursday and reassured them of the government’s commitment to pursuing the perpetrators of the Camp Speicher Massacre and other crimes, both within and beyond Iraq’s borders.

PM Al-Sudani remembers Camp Speicher Massacre on 10th anniversary

PM Al-Sudani remembers Camp Speicher Massacre on 10th anniversary