Washington, DC (us.gov.krd) - The Kurdistan Regional Government is saddened to learn of the passing of former US President George H. W. Bush. The KRG offers deepest condolences to the people of the United States and to the family, friends, and colleagues of former President Bush.
In 1991, fearing that Ba'athist dictator Saddam Hussein would resume his campaign of genocide, nearly two million Kurds fled their homes for the mountains of Turkey and Iran, where they were without food, exposed to the elements, and facing near certain death. Together with Coalition partners, in April 1991 President Bush initiated Operation Provide Comfort, the largest military humanitarian operation in history, providing food and shelter to Kurdish refugees and saving hundreds of thousands of lives.
Later that year, Operation Provide Comfort II protected Kurdistan from attacks by Ba'athist airplanes and encouraged Kurdish villagers to return home. After decades of genocide and oppression, this gave the people of Kurdistan space to begin self-rule. In 1992, Kurdistan held the first democratic elections in Iraq's history, establishing the Kurdistan National Assembly and eventually leading to the creation of the Kurdistan Regional Government.