About AIDP

In the aftermath of the Gulf War in 1991, a large collection of Iraqi security documents came into the possession of the United States government. These documents had been captured by forces in northern Iraq as they took possession of Arbil, Dohok/Nohadra, and Sulaymania from Saddam Hussein's regime. These documents number some 2.4 million. They lay scattered throughout the security buildings in these towns and had clearly been hastily searched by the departing security personnel and some items had been removed. Some of the documents probably also were destroyed in the process of the fighting. The mainly Kurdish partisans who captured the documents also went through them. The rest came into the possession of the US government. Eventually they were sorted, boxed according to rough categories, and most, but not all, were copied onto CD-Rom.

The documents date from 1968 but are strongest for the 1980s. The materials are in Arabic, and require not simply a translation, but an understanding of internal Iraqi politics and the use of specialized terminology. Due to the intricacies of Iraq's manipulation of its minorities in order to promote the ascendancy of Saddam Hussein, the Baathist agenda, and Arabization of the entire multi-ethnic population of Iraq, important materials regarding ethnic minorities have come to light. The Iraq Research and Documentation Project (part of the Iraq Foundation received a grant for a multi-year study of the documents. The IRDP categorizes and selectively translates the material. Some documents
may be viewed at (

The Assyrian community is indebted to the IRDP for making the Assyrian related documents available to us for study and translation. We are particularly grateful to Dr. Katrin Michael, part of the team of the IRDP/NIDS (Northern Iraq Documents....) for facilitating acquisition of copies of the documents.

The significance of the documents unfolds as more and more of them are translated and partially annotated. These translations provide primary data on how the Baathist regime intimidated, infiltrated and manipulated Assyrians in order to render them politically docile and ethnically voiceless. In light of the fact that Baghdad eliminated the census category Assyrian in 1977, it is noteworthy that these documents demonstrate how intent the security apparatus was with controlling the unrecognized ethnic group through rumors and terror.


The Arabic documents have no copyright restrictions. The English translations are copyrighted by the Assyrian Academic Society. Permission for use is available by contacting us.

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