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Ali Hassan al- Majid

Majid, Ali Hassan al- (äˈlē hāˈsän äl-mäjēdˈ) [key], 1941–2010, Iraqi general and Ba'athist, cousin of Saddam Hussein. After Hussein took power (1979), Majid played a pivotal role in the Ba'ath party purge and occupied a number of government positions, including defense and interior minister, security chief, and head of the Revolutionary Command Council. Named (1987) governor of N Iraq, he became known as "Chemical Ali" for the Anfal Campaign (1988), in which he used chemical weapons to kill an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 Iraqi Kurds; he also employed torture and committed other atrocities. As military governor of Kuwait (1990) he was responsible for the brutalization and murder of many Kuwaitis, and as defense minister (1991–95) he savagely suppressed a Shi'ite revolt and destroyed much of the Marsh Arab population. Commander of the southern region during the U.S. invasion, he was captured in Aug., 2003; later convicted of atrocities in four trials in Iraqi courts, he was sentenced (2007–2010) to death in each and executed shortly after the last trial.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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