kurdistanSurvivor accounts are uniform that these men were made to form a line. A lieutenant told them to sit down, and they did so.
anfal campaign
The thirty-three detained men...wept and pleaded for their lives, although the soldiers insisted that nothing would happen to them. One of the lieutenants offered them cigarettes and water.
The commander ordered the soldiers--approximately fifteen soldiers armed with automatic rifles--to open fire.
Of the thirty-three men and boys in the line, twenty-seven died. The dead were left unburied for some time, and were eventually deposited in two mass graves near where they fell.
Draft for "The Anfal Campaign in Iraqi Kurdistan: The Destruction of Koreme," Middle East Watch Report, January 1993

I think no one, not any of the Kurdish groups, knew the full dimension of what they had in their own hands. Eighteen tons of Iraqi intelligence documents were stored away in various locations. We thought it important for the Kurds' sake that the documents kept under secure conditions to research quickly.

We had to enlist the cooperation of the U.S. government because the Turkish government refused to allow materials they considered military records to cross through their land. We wanted to get it out as completely as possible. We had eleven or twelve helicopters that took the material out, and then a transcontinental plane took it on to Washington.

anfal campaign
We were finally able to see that [the Anfal] campaign had probably been conceived of by the Iraqi government as a pure military campaign to destroy an insurgent movement and its supporters. But, because Kurds were taken away and killed for being Kurds and for living in a certain region, it became genocide.

Interview with Andrew Whitley, former director of Middle East Watch, December 1994
As we waded through 18 metric tons of Iraqi government documents in the U.S. National Archives in 1992-94, pulling bunched-up files out of boxes and bags, small I.D. pictures would often come rolling out onto the floor. Others would still be in their proper place: attached with pins to the tops of file pages that provided biographical information about persons questioned by the Iraqi secret service, the Amn. More often than not, the person on the form had been detained or executed for "belonging to the saboteurs," a euphemism for alleged membership in one of the Kurdish rebel parties. In the final analysis, it appeared that every single Kurd-informer, detainee, suspected rebel, political activist, or ordinary citizen-sooner or later would have a file with the Amn and would be under constant scrutiny from colleagues or relatives working for the regime-persons they might never even have suspected of collaboration.

Letter from Joost Hiltermann, living in the U.S., researcher for Human Rights Watch, June 1995

While screening the eighteen tons of captured Iraqi documents, we found documents about the fate of the people disappeared during the Anfal, and a very straightforward directive saying, "From now on, if anyone asks about the fate of their relatives or friends who disappeared in Anfal, don't say that we captured them and they disappeared. Say we have no information about them." Among the many documents, we have photos of every individual who was interrogated, and peshmerga forces or returnees who came back or were arrested in clashes with the government. Whatever people had in their pockets, it's there. For example, any picture they had. We found other interesting photos of people whom the Iraqis were chasing. For example, if they wanted to go after someone, they photographed these people while they were meeting someone on the street or when they were going home.

Interview with Shorsh Resool, living in England, April 1994