Battle of the Gypsy Cart
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|Battle of the Gypsy Cart|
Gypsy cart burning after incendiary bombardment
|Conflict: Yamak War of Honour|
|Date: July 22, 1998|
|Place: Outside Almaty, Kazakhstan|
|Outcome: Ker gypsy clan eradicated, Nurtas Yamak killed|
| Kazakh Science Ministry
Almaty Hunter's Lodge
|Ker Roma clan|
|Dr. Aztayev Yamak||Bulibaşa Garas Ker|
| 1 WWI-era biplane
4 civilian snipers
|27 unarmed men|
|Nurtas Yamak||143 killed|
“I am not ashamed by my actions at the Battle of the Gypsy Cart. I think that, maybe this will teach them how to behave around respectable Kazakhs. I do not regret the death of my son Nurtas, for he was certainly the least virile and intelligent of my three boys.”
The Battle of the Gypsy Cart was a bombing raid conducted July 22, 1998 on the Ker clan of Roma at their encampment outside Almaty, Kazakhstan. It is notable for being the only military operation in recorded history to be directed by a non-military cabinet minister.
On the night of July 21, 1998, Anna Yamak, wife of Kazakh Minister of Sciences and Prescription Narcotics Dr. Aztayev Yamak, put her three children to bed, but forgot to close the window into their room.
According to a statement published by the Kazakh Ministry of Sciences and Prescription Narcotics, around 2:30AM on July 22, a group of roaming gypsies of the Ker clan wandered by and, seeing the open window, kidnapped the triplets: Nurlan, Nurtas (both conjoined) and Akezhan.
Believing the conjoined pair to be useful in their dark magic, Nurtas was surgically removed from his brother by the men. Nurlan and Akezhan were quietly returned to the Yamak home, and Nurtas was brought back with the gypsy kidnappers to their encampment outside Almaty.
In the morning, the Yamak parents were told over breakfast what had happened in the night. Aztayev grew enraged at this news, and called a meeting with the Kazakh military chiefs.
After a full day of discussion among the military counsel, Yamak told them that he had been ignoring their advice the entire time and sent them home.
edit The Attack
Rather than negotiate or attempt a rescue, Yamak ordered an incendiary bombing on the encampment of the Ker clan.
Because the Kazakh air force was on vacation, the bombing was to be conducted personally by Yamak, using molotov cocktails and a crop duster bi-plane. A few members of the Almaty Hunter's Lodge were offered a free round of Kazakh Goat Ale to guard the perimeter of the camp and pick off any escapees.
Though the weaponry and personnel was ready at 7:30PM, the attack was postponed by Yamak until nightfall so the flames would look more impressive. At 9:00, the bombing run began. The resulting firestorm killed Nurtas, his gypsy captors, and dozens of innocent men, women and children.
edit Investigation and Aftermath
In an interview on Kazakh Morning Coffee Newsflash Television Show, Yamak commented that "there are few things that have brought greater happiness to me or my nation than to hear the dying screams of three thousand burning gypsies." Yamak's tendency to exaggerate brought international skepticism to his rendition of the events.
A joint investigation by Amnesty International and the United Nations revealed that no one had ever broken in to Yamak's home. In fact, Yamak had sold his son Nurtas to gypsies in exchange for a significant amount of Methamphetamine. Fearing a political scandal, he concocted the questionable story of his son's kidnapping.
The Battle of the Gypsy Cart proved to be a key moment in Yamak's political career, prompting the first United Nations Resolution against the life of a single person. Secretary-General Kofi Annan commented that "the death of Aztayev Yamak would be a favour to all of us. He's such a fuckwad."