Saddam committed "appalling, brazen crimes" with support of those claiming to defend human rights: Supreme Leader
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei

Tehran, IRNA – Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in a meeting with the officials in charge of conducting the Martyrs of Ilam Commemoration Ceremony said on November 21 that Saddam committed the "appalling, brazen crimes" in the imposed war with support of claimants of human rights.

The Supreme Leader's speech in this meeting was broadcast on Thursday, December 2, at the site of the Martyrs of Ilam Commemoration Ceremony.

In his remarks, the Ayatollah Khamenei said, "During the Sacred Defense, Ilam was like a strong fortress. Although some cities of the province were lost for a short period of time – some areas of the province were occupied by the vicious Munafiqeen [MEK] – the province stood firm like a mountain, similar to the Meimak Summit which I stood on and where I witnessed the magnificent work done by our dear soldiers. The province of Ilam stood up to the vicious enemy, Saddam and his collaborators, just like that summit".

"The enemy attacked Ilam before it officially attacked Tehran and other parts of the country. And the first martyr – martyred on a Saturday, as pointed out by one of the gentlemen – was actually martyred before the outbreak of the war in Ilam. In other words, the entire population of the province of Ilam were among those involved in the Sacred Defense," he said. 

The Supreme Leader went on to say, "Later on too, some unique events took place in Ilam. Unfortunately, our own people are not aware of these events, let alone other nations which are interested to know about the incidents and events that have taken place in our country. Even our own people are not aware of these events, much less those nations. One of those events was the bombardment of a soccer match where children were playing soccer in the year 1365 AH [1987 AD]."

"On February 12, 1987, two young teams from Ilam played in a soccer match in commemoration of the 7th victory of the Revolution. The people had gathered there as well as spectators, but an Iraqi plane struck them from up close. In other words, it knew what was happening there. It is not the case that it dropped bombs by accident. It dropped them on purpose, and as a result, 10 of those soccer players were martyred. The referee, a number of children and some spectators were martyred as well. This is not a minor incident. This is a very important event."

Ayatollah Khamenei  added, "It is necessary for these events to be made known to people on a global level. They should be repeatedly mentioned here and there, because this is the message of the innocence of our athletic martyrs whose only crime was that they had organized a soccer match for the Islamic Republic. With the support of which power did the malicious Saddam commit that appalling, brazen crime? Who was behind him?"

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