Ali Hassan al-Majid, or “Chemical Ali” as he was commonly known, was executed today in Iraq, one week after being convicted for the murder of more than 5,000 Kurds in a 1988 gas attack on the town of Halabja. Majid was Saddam Hussein’s cousin, confidant and one of his top henchman. He was the dictator’s pro-consul for northern Iraq—tasked with repressing the Shia uprising that followed the liberation of Kuwait during the Gulf war. The attack on Halabja, carried out by aircraft that dropped nerve and mustard gas on the town, was the worst gas attack ever carried out on civilians, and represented the most disturbing point of Majid’s ruthless career, which saw up to 100,000 civilians killed because of his refusal to differentiate between fighters and non-combatants. His death brought no peace to the war torn country—just before it was announced, a co-ordinated suicide attack on three hotels in Baghdad killed at least 36 people.