The Massacre of Al-Amiriyah Shelter Remembered
By Ibrahim Ebeid
While the People of the United States were celebrating Valentine’s Day, February 1991, the day of Love and Friendship, US bombs were falling all over Iraq. Destruction and death were the lot of Iraq and its People. Al-Amiriya, a bomb shelter, which was one of 38 shelters, built by a Scandinavian construction company, was brutally attacked by US Air Force. Fifteen hundred civilians, mostly women and children, were taking refuge in it when the precision bombs fell and turned the refuge into a death chamber. Only 11 were known to have survived after suffering different degrees of wounds, burns and psychological trauma. Whole families were wiped out, as can still be seen today from their locked houses in Amiriyah.
The temperature inside the shelter rose to thousands of degrees melting bodies along with cement and iron. The evidence is still there in the blackened ceiling where melted iron rods in the roof hang inside along the edges of the hole, which was caused by the bombs. Ripped air conditioning ducts lie on the floor to bear witness to the crimes committed by George Bush Sr. and his Administration.
The shelters were designed for civilian use, to be located in densely populated residential areas, such as al-Amiriya in the north-west of Baghdad. The shelter consists of two floors, with the top floor used for living and sleeping and the lower floor intended for food storage, drinking water and washing water tanks, boilers, bathrooms, fuel storage, standby generators and the medical staff and their equipment. The details of these shelters and their locations were known to all residents, whether Iraqis or not, all through the 1980s during the Iraq-Iran war. There were neither secret establishments nor restricted access to any body; the shelter was not a military bunker as the criminals pretend.
A few days before the slaughter of the civilians took place the Baby Milk Factory was destroyed to deprive the children of Iraq of the most essential nourishment. The intention was to starve, maim and kill the children of Iraq or deprive them from a healthy future.