Chapter 1. Iraqi Chemical and Biological Warfare Capability
Over the last ten years, Iraq, a signatory to both the Geneva Protocols of 1925 (prohibiting the use of poisoned gas) and the Biological Warfare Convention of 1972 (banning biological weapons), has expended an enormous amount of research and energy in developing these and other prohibited weapons.
Iraq was believed to have been manufacturing mustard gas at a production facility in Samara since the early 1980s. It also began an extensive program to produce nerve agent precursor chemicals, taking advantage of its own natural resources. Phosphate mines/industries are at Akashat, Al Qaim, and Rutbah.(1) The Iraqi Al Fallujah gas warfare complex was believed to be capable of producing up to 1,000 tons per month of Sarin, as well as the nerve agent VX.(2) In addition, with the assistance of foreign firms, Iraq developed the capability to experiment with hydrogen cyanide, cyanogen chloride, and lewisite.(3) By the start of the Gulf War, Iraqi forces had developed chemical delivery capabilities for rifle grenades, 81mm mortars, 152mm, 130mm, and 122mm artillery rounds; bombs; 90mm air-to-ground rockets; 216 kilogram FROG and 555 kilogram SCUD warheads; and possible land mines and cruise missiles.(4)
On July 30, 1991, Ambassador Rolf Ekeus, director of the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM), charged with overseeing the elimination of Iraq's chemical and nuclear arsenals, told the Security Council that U.N. inspectors had found chemical warheads armed with nerve gas. Mr. Ekeus claimed that some warheads found were already fitted onto the SCUD missiles.(5)
Iraq's chemical warfare capability was known to the U.S. government before
the war. A month before the war began, then Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Director William Webster estimated that Iraq possessed 1,000 tons of poisonous
chemical agents, much of it capable of being loaded into two types of missiles:
the FROG (Free Rocket Over Ground) and the SCUD B
(SS-1).(6) Jane's Strategic Weapons Systems
lists warhead capabilities for the FROG-7 as high explosive (HE), chemical,
or nuclear, and for the Iraqi versions of the SCUD as probably HE or
Status of Iraqi Readiness to Use Chemical Weapons Against Coalition
In March 1991, Molly Moore reported from Jubayl, Saudi Arabia that Marine Commanders found no indications of chemical weapons stockpiles on the battlefields of Kuwait. According to a Washington Post report that day, (March 7, 1991), U.S. intelligence analysts claimed that these weapons "never got distributed down to the battlefield" from storage sites north of the Euphrates River. (8) A U.S. military intelligence source stated in March 1991 that "it was a matter of not deploying chemical weapons, rather than not having them, . . . my guess . . . is they never managed to get it down to division level."(9)
Regarding the presence of chemical weapons and Iraqi readiness to use them against Coalition forces, Committee staff has received the following information:
Dale Glover, of the 1165th Military Police Company, was with the 7th Corps, approximately 75 miles inside Iraq, when they came upon a destroyed artillery site. They entered a bunker that was half uncovered by the bombing. Inside there was a very strong ammonia smell. They discovered leaking chemical munitions inserts packed inside aluminum casings. A test confirmed a blister agent. They went back to their unit and reported what they had found. Mr. Glover recalled that "they didn't get back to us for 2-3 hours, then told us it was a false positive, nothing to be concerned about." However, he said, within hours they were ordered to move from the location where they were camped, about three miles from the bunker. Mr. Glover recalled that they had been at that position only a couple of weeks and had not expected to move that soon. When questioned if the site they discovered was south of the Euphrates, he confirmed that it was.(10)
Another source who identified himself to the Committee but wishes to remain anonymous has informed Committee staff that he also was with the 7th Corps in southern Iraq. Somewhere between As Salman and Bashra (in a position south of the Euphrates River), his unit came upon bunkers containing crates of substances that "made you choke, made you want to throw up, burned your eyes. It smelled like ammonia, only a lot stronger." He could not
approach the crates without experiencing immediate breathing problems. He said these crates were leaking.(11)
Chris Alan Kornkven was a Staff Sergeant with the 340th Combat Support Company during the Persian Gulf War. He reported to Committee staff that a U.S. military doctor at the 312th Evacuation Hospital told him that doctors at the hospital had been speaking with Iraqi officers. According to these doctors, the Iraqi officers said that they had chemical weapons at the front, and had authorization to use them, but that the winds in their area were blowing the wrong way.(12)
Several press sources carried reports of encounters with chemical mines by the 2nd Marine Division during the initial mine field breaching operation early on February 24, 1991. According to the Chicago Tribune, which interviewed officers and enlisted Marines involved in the operation, a FOX vehicle confirmed positive readings for a nerve agent and for a mustard gas. A second detecting device gave the same positive reading. General Keys, the 2nd Division commander, and Colonel Livingston, commander of the 6th Marine Regiment, told reporters they believed it was possible that a chemical mine was blown up or hit.(13)
General Schwarzkopf told reporters he considered the reports "bogus."(14)
British troops also discovered Iraqi chemical mines on the Gulf battlefield, according to Gannett News Service. A British official (not further identified) said that the incident was reported to Prime Minister John Major's war cabinet; no details were given.(15)
Press reports indicate Iraqi readiness to use these weapons against Coalition forces. The British Sunday Times reported on January 27, 1991, that American intelligence detected greatly increased activity at Iraq's main chemical plant a Samara in the last week of December, and the British Ministry of Defence said that the Allies believe that Iraq "may have as many as 100,000 artillery shells filled with chemicals and several tons [of bulk agent] stored near the front line." According to the Times report, a British Ministry of Defence official said: "The plant was at peak activity and the chemicals were distributed to the troops in Kuwait and elsewhere in theatre." The Times reported that an unnamed Pentagon source said that Hussein had given front-line commanders permission to use these weapons at their discretion, and that "it was no longer a question of if, but when."(16)
Iraqi soldiers captured by the British units also informed the allies that before the war started, Iraq distributed substantial supplies of chemical weapons along the front lines to be held for the ground war.(17) According to Newsweek, U.S. intelligence sources had reported that Saddam Hussein had ordered his commanders to fire chemical weapons as soon as the allies launched a ground offensive. (18) A British signals officer was reported to have said that "we were tuned into the Iraqi command radio net. We heard them give the release order to their front-line troops to use chemical weapons against Rhino Force if it crossed the border."(19)
Destruction of Iraq's Chemicals and Chemical Weapons by the United Nations
In April 1993, weapons inspectors from the United Nations charged with locating
all of Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons by U.N. Resolution
687, confirmed that in Muthanna, 65 miles northwest of Baghdad, Iraq manufactured
a form of mustard gas as well as Sarin and Tabun, both nerve agents. This
vast desert complex was the nucleus of Iraq's chemical weapons program.
During the allied bombing in the early days of the Gulf War, Muthanna
was a priority target. It was repeatedly attacked and production sites were
destroyed. As United Nations inspectors attempted to destroy Iraq's chemical
weapons arsenal, they discovered bombs, missiles, and chemical weapons of
mass destruction spread out across this immense complex. Of particular concern
were the chemical warheads of Al-Hussein modified SCUD missiles, each filled
with five gallons of Sarin. Twenty-eight of these warheads have been drained
and destroyed by the U.N. inspectors. These weapons were not destroyed during
the bombings at Muthanna because they had been removed to other locations
before the Gulf War started. Their relocation and transfer back to Muthanna
was described by U.N. inspectors as a painstaking
process.(20) According to Brigadier General
Walter Busbee, U.S. Army Chemical and Materiel Destruction Agency, Aberdeen
Proving Grounds, these warheads were exported to Iraq from the former Soviet
Chemical warfare agents which either survived the allied bombing or were inventoried and returned to the Muthanna facility for destruction include:(22)
13,000 155-mm artillery shells loaded with mustard gas;
6,200 rockets loaded with nerve agent;
800 nerve agent aerial bombs;
28 SCUD warheads loaded with Sarin;
75 tons of the nerve agent Sarin;
60-70 tons of the nerve agent Tabun; and,
250 tons of mustard gas and stocks of thiodiglycol, a precursor chemical
for mustard gas.
U.N inspectors have concluded that the Muthanna plant was capable of producing two tons of Sarin and five tons of mustard gas daily. The plant was also capable of manufacturing VX, a nerve gas and one of the most toxic chemicals ever produced.(23)
In addition to Muthanna, chemical agents were destroyed at two airbases: one located 40 miles west of Baghdad and the other located near An Nassiriyah, where a number of 122mm rockets loaded with Sarin (GB) were blown in place. According to UNSCOM sources, many of these weapons were hastily deployed prior to the air war and later returned for destruction. The U.N. has destroyed hundreds of tons of bulk chemical agents and tens of thousands of chemical munitions. In addition, hundreds of thousands of liters of key chemical precursors which have been identified and destroyed include: 14,600 liters of DF; 121,000 liters of D4 and 153,983 liters of thiodiglycol. According to UNSCOM, the Iraqis were capable of employing both binary and mixed agent weapons. Binary weapons identified used DF. When combined with appropriate chemicals, GB and GF are produced.(24)
UNSCOM also discovered, at various locations, evidence of research into certain biological agents, including botulinus toxin, anthrax, an organism responsible for gas gangrene and others as identified below. The evidence discovered by the group suggested that this was primarily an offensive biological warfare program.(25)
On February 13, 1994, a clandestine radio service in Iraq, the Voice of the Iraqi People, reported that Saddam Hussein's government was still attempting to hide chemical and biological weapons >from international inspectors by repeatedly relocating them. Citing unidentified individuals, the radio reported that the banned weapons were being hidden in the oil pipelines that have been "out of operation because of the international embargo."(26)
Chemical Warfare Doctrine and the Use of Combined Agent Warfare
There is substantial evidence to suggest that in the use of chemical weapons, as in other military areas, the Iraqi military adhered, at least in part, to Soviet military doctrine. Soviet military doctrine suggested that chemical warfare should be conducted with mixed agents.(27) Mixed agents, often referred to as "cocktails," are intended to enhance the capabilities of nerve agents and defeat the precautions taken by the enemy.(28) Use of mixed agents could account for the wide variety of symptoms displayed by the Gulf War veterans. Mixed agents can be made by combining a variety of biotoxins, nerve agents, vesicants, blister agents and some biological agents -- such as bacteria and fungi, and others described briefly below.
According to some sources, Iraq used mixed agent weapons combining cyanogen, mustard gas, and tabun against the Kurds. Saddam Hussein stated on April 2, 1990, that Iraq had "double combined chemical" weapons since the last year of the Iran-Iraq War.(29) It was also believed that in 1984 Iraq may have used mixed agent weapons with biological tricothecenes and mycotoxins against Majnoon Island during the Iran-Iraq War.(30)
The utility of chemical weapons and the possibility of exposing one's own troops to indirect chemical weapons effects is an issue which has been seriously debated by both U.S. and Soviet military planners. Soviet doctrine questions the utility of initiating chemical warfare, since chemical weapons produce secondary effects that could obstruct troop advances. U.S. military doctrine warns that, according to its calculations, the use of a nerve agent against a target area of no more than a dozen hectares (a hectare is about 2.47 acres) can, under certain weather conditions, create a hazard zone downwind of up to 100 kilometers in length. Within this downwind area, friendly military units would have to take protective measures.(31)
According to the official military announcements made in the last half of January 1991 and based on the quantity of chemical agents observed by UN inspectors after the war, the scope of coalition bombing against these facilities involved hundreds -- if not thousands -- of tons of bulk chemical nerve agents, mustard gas, as well as tens of thousands of pieces of chemical munitions. This quantity of chemical warfare agents vastly exceeds the amounts that might be expected to be deployed by a military force in a single chemical attack.
The dispersal of the chemical agents and other hazardous substances is controlled by factors such as topography, wind velocity, direction, temperature, precipitation, vertical temperature gradient and atmospheric humidity. These factors all contribute to the size and type of dispersal pattern which will be observed.(32) In addition, as confirmed by unclassified U.S. satellite imagery debris from the Coalition bombings were upwardly dispersed, rather than downwardly dispersed as would occur in offensive use, causing chemical agents to be carried by upper atmospheric currents and distributed as "traces" of chemical fallout over "down weather" positions. Czech and French officials confirmed the detections of these chemicals during the war. (See Chapter 3.)
In considering the consequences of the placement of troops in areas downwind
(where non-lethal exposure to chemical warfare agents might be expected),
it must be remembered that chemical nerve agents, such as Sarin and Soman
and other agents, have cumulative effects -- often explained as slow rates
The following is a listing of a number of agents which the Iraqi government could have combined or which could have been combined in the atmosphere as a result of Coalition bombings:
Chemical Nerve Agents
Nerve agents kill by disrupting the metabolic processes, causing a buildup of a chemical messenger (acetylcholine) by inhibiting the production of acetyl cholinesterase, a key regulator of neurotransmission. Lethal exposure to chemical nerve agents is generally characterized by drooling, sweating,cramping, vomiting, confusion, irregular heart beat, convulsions, loss of consciousness and coma.(34)
According to a material safety data sheet (MSDS) for Sarin (GB), Soman (GD), and VX prepared by the U.S. Army Chemical Research, Development and Engineering Center, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, "the inhibition of cholinesterase enzymes throughout the body by nerve agents is more or less irreversible so that their effects are prolonged. Until the tissue cholinesterase enzymes are restored to normal activity, probably by the very slow regeneration over a period of weeks or 2 to 3 months if damage is severe, there is a period of increased susceptibility to the effects of another exposure to any nerve agent. During this period the effects of repeated exposures are cumulative; after a single exposure, daily exposure to concentrations of nerve agent insufficient to produce symptoms may result in the onset of symptoms after several days. Continued daily exposure may be followed by increasingly severe effects. After symptoms subside, increased susceptibility persists for one to several days. The degree of exposure required to produce recurrence of symptoms, and the severity of these symptoms depend on duration of exposure and time required to produce recurrence of symptoms, and the severity of these symptoms depend on the duration of exposure and the time intervals between exposures. Increased susceptibility is not specific to the particular nerve agent initially absorbed." (See appendix A for MSDS on Soman, Sarin, Tabun, GF, and VX.).
Some of the symptoms commonly associated with acute exposure to chemical nerve agents include myosis, frontal headaches, eye pain on focusing, slight dimness of vision, occasional nausea and vomiting, runny nose, tightness in chest, sometimes with prolonged wheezing, expiration suggestive of broncho-constriction or increased secretion and coughing. Following systemic absorption, these symptoms are identified as typical: tightness in chest, wheezing, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, epigastric and substernal tightness, heartburn, diarrhea, involuntary defecation, increased sweating, increased salivation, increased tearing, slight bradycardia, myosis, blurring vision, urinary urgency and frequency, fatigue, mild weakness, muscular twitching, cramps, generalized weakness, including muscles of respiration, with dyspnea and cyanosis, pallor and occasional elevation of blood pressure; giddiness, tension, anxiety, jitteriness, restlessness, emotional lability, excessive dreaming, insomnia, nightmares, headaches, tremors, withdrawal and depression; bursts of slow waves of elevated voltage in EEG (especially on over ventilation), drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, slowness on recall. confusion, slurred speech, ataxia, coma (with absence of reflexes), Cheyne-Stokes respirations, convulsions, depression of the respiratory and circulatory centers, with dyspnea, cyanosis and fall in blood pressure.(35)
The material safety data sheets (MSDS) for Sarin (GB) disclose that the permissible exposure limit for Sarin over time is less than 0.0001 mg/cubic meter. (See appendix A) The U.S. M8A1 automatic chemical agent detection alarm is not capable of detecting chemicals at levels below...... Further, even when the alarms did sound suggesting exposure to trace amounts of chemical nerve agent, U.S. forces failed to don their chemical protection gear because they were repeatedly told the alarms were false or that the exposure was "not enough to hurt you." The MSDS for Sarin recommends use of protective equipment at exposure levels above 0.0001 mg/cubic meter.
This increased susceptibility associated with prolonged exposures to non-lethal dosages of nerve gases, suggests that the synergistic effects of the fallout from the bombings of the chemical warfare agent facilities and the administration of the cholinesterase inhibiting drug, pyridostigmine bromide, should be further researched as factors contributing to the symptoms being described by the Gulf War veterans.
Sarin - A colorless and practically odorless liquid, Sarin dissolves well in water and organic solvents. The basic military use of Sarin is as a gas and a persistent aerosol. A highly toxic agent with a clearly defined myopic effect, symptoms of intoxication appear quickly without any period of latent effect. Sarin has cumulative effects -- that is, a slow rate of detoxification independent of its method of entry into the body. According to Joachim Krause and Charles K. Mallory in Chemical Weapons in Soviet Military Doctrine: Military and Historical Experience, 1915-1991, the progressive signs of initial Sarin intoxication include myosis (contraction of the pupil), photophobia, difficulty breathing and chest pain.(36)
Soman - A neuro-paralytic toxic agent. Soman is a transparent, colorless, involatile liquid smelling of camphor. Soluble in water to a limited degree, Soman is absorbed into porous and painted surfaces. Soman is similar to Sarin in its injurious effects, but more toxic. When it acts on the skin in either droplet or vapor form, it causes a general poisoning of the organism.(37)
Tabun - A neuro-paralytic toxic agent. Tabun is a transparent, colorless liquid. The industrial product is a brown liquid with a weak sweetish smell; in small concentrations, it smells of fruit, but in large concentrations, it smells of fish. Tabun dissolves poorly in water but well in organic solvents; it is easily absorbed into rubber products and painted surfaces. Injury occurs upon skin contact with Tabun vapor and droplets. The symptoms of injury appear almost immediately. Marked myosis occurs.(38)
VX - This colorless, odorless, liquid has a low volatility and is poorly soluble in water, but dissolves well in organic solvents. The danger of pulmonary VX intoxication is determined by meteorological conditions and the delivery method used. VX is thought to be very effective against respiratory organs when in the form of a thinly dispersed aerosol. The symptoms of VX intoxication are analogous to those of other nerve agents, but their development is markedly slower. As with other nerve agents, VX has a cumulative effect.(39)
Vesicants and Blood Agents
Lewisite - A vesicant toxic agent, industrial lewisite is a dark-brown liquid with a strong smell. Lewisite is a contact poison with practically no period of latent effect. Lewisite vapors cause irritation to the eyes and upper respiratory tract.(40) According to the Center for Disease Control, lewisite would cause stinging and burning. Its smell, generally characterized as the strong smell of geraniums, could be confused with the smell of ammonia (the reaction to which is regulated by pain fibers rather than smell).(41) Iraqi stores of lewisite were not located after the war according to the Department of Defense.
Cyanogen Chloride - The French first suggested the use of cyanogen chloride as a toxic agent. U.S. analysts have reported that it is capable of penetrating gas mask filters. Partially soluble in water, it dissolves well in organic solvents. It is absorbed easily into porous materials; its military state is a gas. Cyanogen chloride is a quick acting toxic agent. Upon contact with the eyes or respiratory organs, it injures immediately. Lethal exposures result in loss of consciousness, convulsions and paralysis.(42)
Hydrogen Cyanide - A colorless liquid smelling of bitter almonds, hydrogen cyanide is a very strong, quick-acting poison. Hydrogen cyanide affects unprotected humans through the respiratory organs and during the ingestion of contaminated food and water. It inhibits the enzymes which regulate the intra-cell oxidant-restorative process. As a result, the cells of the nervous system, especially those affecting breathing -- are injured, which in turn leads to quick death. An important feature of hydrogen cyanide is the absence of a period of latent effect. The military state of hydrogen cyanide is a gas. The toxic and physiologic properties of hydrogen cyanide permit it to be used effectively in munitions -- predominantly in rocket-launched artillery. Death occurs after intoxication due to paralysis of the heart. Non-lethal doses do not cause intoxication.(43)
According to the material safety data sheet (MSDS) for sulfur mustard gas (HD) prepared by the U.S. Army Chemical Research, Development and Engineering Center, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, "chronic exposure to HD can cause skin sensitization, chronic lung impairment, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and cancer of the mouth, throat, respiratory tract, skin, and leukemia. It may also cause birth defects. (See appendix A for the MSDS sheets on sulfur mustard agents HD and T.)
Mustard Gas - This is a colorless, oily liquid which dissolves poorly in water, but relatively well in organic solvents, petroleum, lubricant products, and other toxic agents. The injurious effect of mustard gas is associated with its ability to inhibit many enzyme systems of the body. This, in turn, prevents the intra-cell exchange of chemicals and leads to necrosis of the tissue. Death is associated mainly with necrosis of the tissue of the central nervous system. Mustard gas has a period of latent effect (the first signs of injury appear after 2-12 hours), but does not act cumulatively. It does not have any known antidotes. In military use it can come in gas, aerosol, and droplet form. It therefore acts through inhalation, cutaneously, perorally and directly through the blood stream. The toxic and physico-chemical properties of mustard gas allow it to be used in all types of munitions.(44)
Related Chemical Agent Information
Committee staff has learned that Iraq may have acquired any one of
a number of the Soviet binary novachok ("newcomer") series of chemical warfare
agent compounds or information relevant to the development of those compounds.
This series of chemical warfare agents reportedly contains both lethal and
debilitating agents. According to a Committee source, if the Iraqis had obtained
samples of these compounds they could be easily analyzed and produced with
readily available materials. Several of these compounds are described as
agents that even in microdoses can have long lasting effects. These agents
are described as inducing myosis, vomiting, memory loss, involuntary motions
and internal organ dysfunction. Many of these materials are also described
as having mutagenic effects. These materials are, according to the source,
stored in the lipids (body fats) and have no known antidotes. In addition,
according to the Committee source, the Soviets were believed to have conducted
research in a number of dioxin-based chemical warfare agents, and on at least
one agent that could be used to contaminate drinking water supplies. Committee
staff is conducting further inquiries to determine if Iraq may have had access
to any of these compounds.(45)
Biotoxins are natural poisons, chiefly of cellular structure. A distinction
is made between exotoxins which are given off by an organism while it is
alive, and endotoxins which are given off after a cell's death. The exotoxins
cause the injurious effects of biological weapons, but endotoxins guarantee
the effects of chemical weapons and do not cause the widespread disease outbreaks
associated with biological warfare. Some examples of biotoxins include botulinus
toxin and staphylococcic enterotoxin.(46)
Iraq was also known to be experimenting with the use of anthrax and an organism
responsible for gangrene.(47)
Biological Warfare Capability
According to the U.N., the Iraqi biological warfare program was initiated in mid-1986 at Salman Pak. UNSCOM inspectors discovered evidence of research into certain biological agents including botulinus toxin and anthrax -- as well as organisms responsible for gas gangrene, tetanus and brucellosis, components of a biological weapons program which was not defensive in nature. In four years of work prior to the war, only 10 papers were published. These research programs focused on Iraqi efforts to isolate the most pathogenic spores. They also did research on the aerosolization and on the environmental survivability of some of these biological materials according to the United Nations.(48)
While the Department of Defense maintains that the Iraqi military
did not weaponize its biological warfare program, UNSCOM is less certain,
reporting that their degree of confidence that weaponization did not occur
is low. In fact, readily available high performance agricultural aerosol
generators could easily be converted to both decontaminate areas in which
chemicals are used and to aerosolize biological warfare agents.
Other ways in which biological materials could have been weaponized include Iraqi 250 and 500lb bombs, aerial rockets, unmanned aerial vehicles, FAW ground-to-ground missiles, helicopters and Iraqi aircraft. The Committee has received several reports of Iraqi helicopters penetrating Saudi airspace during the war by flying at low levels through the wadis and of Iraqi aircraft penetrating the area over the northern Persian Gulf.
According to UNSCOM, indications that suggested that the program was offensive in nature include:
No declared links between the BW defense program and medical corps research.
No links between aerosolization research and research on defensive filters.
The United Nations said that the first Biological Inspection was initiated on August 8, 1991 at Salman Pak. The inspection was delayed because of the need to extensively immunize the members of the inspection team. The Salman Pak facility was razed one week prior to the arrival of the inspection team.(49)
The United States is aware of the Iraqi potential for using biological weapons. The employment of biological agents in a "cocktail" mix with chemical warfare agents is consistent with Soviet military doctrine. It is clear that biological weapons are much more difficult than chemical weapons to detect and defend against. Some of the symptoms experienced by veterans suffering >from Persian Gulf Syndrome are consistent with biological warfare agent use. Verification will require sophisticated medical diagnosis, which to date has not been publicly undertaken.
The question of whether U.S. forces were attacked with a biological agent is problematic. According to Chemical/Biological Program: A Department of Defense Perspective, "It has been recognized that our biological defense program was inadequate. Credible analysis indicated that optimal employment of biological agents could result in a significantly large hazard area." It further cites a memo from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the SECDEF (Secretary of Defense) noting: "inadequate ability to counter BW (biological warfare) attack/BW defense is a priority requirement."(50) The inadequacy of the current biological defense and detection program was also supported by Deputy Secretary of Defense John Deutch in an unclassified May 6, 1994 address delivered at a Department of Defense-sponsored counterproliferation conference at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. According to Deputy Secretary Deutch, the United States has "no biological detection capability deployed with any forces, anywhere."
Novel BW agents created by altering DNA plasmids and vectors are specifically intended to avoid detection. As noted below, several shipments of biological materials that might have been used to carry out such a program were licensed for export from the United States to the Iraq Atomic Energy Commission. In such a program, common intestinal flora such as e. coli could be altered to produce viral, bacterial, or other toxins and would be difficult to treat. If Iraq was successful in developing such agents, diagnosis will continue to elude physicians testing for traditional illnesses. Novel BW agents would certainly elude biological detection devices. There is evidence, based on the nature of the materials imported, that this type of research was being conducted.. Since the Iraqi government managed to dismantle much of its biological warfare program prior to the UNSCOM inspections, we can only speculate on how advanced this program might have been.(51)
It has been suggested that if these problems the veterans are experiencing are Gulf War-related, then we should be seeing even more serious problems among the Iraqis. Since beginning this investigation we have learned that many Iraqi enemy prisoners of war (EPW) suffered skin rashes, sores, nausea, vomiting, coughing and other medical problems while they were being detained in Saudi Arabia. Many members of units who had close contact with these individuals are now reporting to the Committee symptoms consistent with those being suffered by other Gulf War veterans. In addition, Iraq has claimed a dramatic rise in reported cases of communicable diseases since the end of the Gulf War including typhoid, brucellosis, hepatitis and cholera. (52)
Further, reports of Gulf War illnesses being reported are no longer limited to military veterans of the Gulf War. Others reporting manifestation of these symptoms include:
- Department of Defense civilians who served in the Persian Gulf War.
- Department of Defense civilians working at the Anniston (AL) Army Depot and the Sharpsite (CA) Army Depot decontaminating equipment which was returned from the Persian Gulf.
- Spouses, particularly the spouses of male veterans, are reporting the following symptoms: chronic or recurring vaginal yeast infections, menstrual irregularities (excessive bleeding and severe cramping), rashes, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and memory loss.
- Children born to veterans prior to the Gulf War. In many cases both male and female children born prior to the war have experienced symptoms similar to those of the veterans and their spouses.
- Children born following the Gulf War. Some reports have been published which suggest a high rate of miscarriages in the families of Gulf War veterans. Further, several reports have surfaced which suggest that there has been a high rate of physical abnormalities in children born to Gulf War veterans since the war.
U.S. Exports of Biological Materials to Iraq
The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs has oversight responsibility for the Export Administration Act. Pursuant to the Act, Committee staff contacted the U.S. Department of Commerce and requested information on the export of biological materials during the years prior to the Gulf War. After receiving this information, we contacted a principal supplier of these materials to determine what, if any, materials were exported to Iraq which might have contributed to an offensive or defensive biological warfare program. Records available from the supplier for the period from 1985 until the present show that during this time, pathogenic (meaning "disease producing"), toxigenic (meaning "poisonous"), and other biological research materials were exported to Iraq pursuant to application and licensing by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Records prior to 1985 were not available, according to the supplier. These exported biological materials were not attenuated or weakened and were capable of reproduction. According to the Department of Defense's own Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, released in April 1992:
"By the time of the invasion of Kuwait, Iraq had developed biological weapons. It's advanced and aggressive biological warfare program was the most advanced in the Arab world... The program probably began late in the 1970's and concentrated on the development of two agents, botulinum toxin and anthrax bacteria... Large scale production of these agents began in 1989 at four facilities near Baghdad. Delivery means for biological agents ranged >from simple aerial bombs and artillery rockets to surface-to-surface missiles." (53)
Included in the approved sales are the following biological materials (which have been considered by various nations for use in war), with their associated disease symptoms:(54)
Bacillus Anthracis: anthrax is a disease-producing bacteria identified by the Department of Defense in The Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report to Congress, as being a major component in the Iraqi biological warfare program.
Anthrax is an often-fatal infectious disease due to ingestion of spores. It begins abruptly with high fever, difficulty in breathing, and chest pain. The disease eventually results in septicemia (blood poisoning), and the mortality is high. Once septicemia is advanced, antibiotic therapy may prove useless, probably because the exotoxins remain, despite the death of the bacteria.
Clostridium Botulinum: a bacterial source of botulinum toxin, which causes vomiting, constipation, thirst, general weakness, headache, fever, dizziness, double vision, dilation of the pupils and paralysis of the muscles involving swallowing. It is often fatal.
Histoplasma Capsulatum: causes a disease superficially resembling tuberculosis that may cause pneumonia, enlargement of the liver and spleen, anemia, an influenza-like illness and an acute inflammatory skin disease marked by tender red nodules, usually on the shins. Reactivated infection usually involves the lungs, the brain, spinal membranes, heart, peritoneum, and the adrenals.
Brucella Melitensis: a bacteria which can cause chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, profuse sweating when at rest, pain in joints and muscles, insomnia, nausea, and damage to major organs.
Clostridium Perfringens: a highly toxic bacteria which causes gas gangrene. The bacteria produce toxins that move along muscle bundles in the body killing cells and producing necrotic tissue that is then favorable for further growth of the bacteria itself. Eventually, these toxins and bacteria enter the bloodstream and cause a systemic illness.
In addition, several shipments of Escherichia Coli (E.Coli) and genetic materials, as well as human and bacterial DNA, were shipped directly to the Iraq Atomic Energy Commission.
The following is a detailed listing of biological materials, provided by the American Type Culture Collection, which were exported to agencies of the government of Iraq pursuant to the issuance of an export licensed by the U.S. Commerce Department:(55)
Date : February 8, 1985
Sent to : Iraq Atomic Energy Agency
Materials Shipped: Ustilago nuda (Jensen) Rostrup
Date : February 22, 1985
Sent to : Ministry of Higher Education
Materials Shipped: Histoplasma capsulatum var. farciminosum (ATCC 32136)
Class III pathogen
Date : July 11, 1985
Sent to : Middle and Near East Regional A
Materials Shipped: Histoplasma capsulatum var. farciminosum (ATCC 32136)
Class III pathogen
Date : May 2, 1986
Sent to : Ministry of Higher Education
Materials Shipped: 1. Bacillus Anthracis Cohn (ATCC 10) Batch # 08-20-82 (2 each)
Class III pathogen.
2. Bacillus Subtilis (Ehrenberg) Cohn (ATCC 82) Batch # 06-20-84 (2 each)
3. Clostridium botulinum Type A (ATCC 3502) Batch# 07-07-81 (3 each)
Class III Pathogen
4. Clostridium perfringens (Weillon and Zuber) Hauduroy, et al (ATCC 3624)
Batch# 10-85SV (2 each)
5. Bacillus subtilis (ATCC 6051) Batch# 12-06-84 (2 each)
6. Francisella tularensis var. tularensis Olsufiev (ATCC 6223)Batch# 05-14-79 (2 each)
Avirulent, suitable for preparations of diagnostic antigens.
7. Clostridium tetani (ATCC 9441) Batch# 03-84 (3 each) Highly toxigenic.
8. Clostridium botulinum Type E (ATCC 9564) Batch# 03-02-79 (2 each)
Class III pathogen
9. Clostridium tetani (ATCC 10779) Batch# 04-24-84S (3 each)
10. Clostridium perfringens (ATCC 12916) Batch# 08-14-80 (2 each)
Agglutinating type 2.
11. Clostridium perfringens (ATCC 13124) Batch# 07-84SV (3 each)
Type A, alpha-toxigenic, produces lecithinase C.J. Appl.
12. Bacillus Anthracis (ATCC 14185) Batch# 01-14-80 (3 each) G.G. Wright (Fort Detrick) V770-NP1-R. Bovine anthrax,
Class III pathogen
13. Bacillus Anthracis (ATCC 14578) Batch# 01-06-78 (2 each)
Class III pathogen.
14. Bacillus megaterium (ATCC 14581) Batch# 04-18-85 (2 each)
15. Bacillus megaterium (ATCC 14945) Batch# 06-21-81 (2 each)
16. Clostridium botulinum Type E (ATCC 17855) Batch# 06-21-71
Class III pathogen.
17. Bacillus megaterium (ATCC 19213) Batch# 3-84 (2 each)
18. Clostridium botulinum Type A (ATCC 19397) Batch# 08-18-81 (2 each)
Class III pathogen
19. Brucella abortus Biotype 3 (ATCC 23450) Batch# 08-02-84 (3 each)
Class III pathogen
20. Brucella abortus Biotype 9 (ATCC 23455) Batch# 02-05-68 (3 each)
Class III pathogen
21. Brucella melitensis Biotype 1 (ATCC 23456) Batch# 03-08-78 (2 each)
Class III pathogen
22. Brucella melitensis Biotype 3 (ATCC 23458) Batch# 01-29-68 (2 each)
Class III pathogen
23. Clostridium botulinum Type A (ATCC 25763) Batch# 8-83 (2 each)
Class III pathogen
24. Clostridium botulinum Type F (ATCC 35415) Batch# 02-02-84 (2 each)
Class III pathogen
Date : August 31, 1987
Sent to : State Company for Drug Industries
1. Saccharomyces cerevesiae (ATCC 2601) Batch# 08-28-08 (1 each)
2. Salmonella choleraesuis subsp. choleraesuis Serotype typhi (ATCC 6539)
Batch# 06-86S (1 each)
3. Bacillus subtillus (ATCC 6633) Batch# 10-85 (2 each)
4. Klebsiella pneumoniae subsp. pneumoniae (ATCC 10031) Batch# 08-13-80 (1 each)
5. Escherichia coli (ATCC 10536) Batch# 04-09-80 (1 each)
6. Bacillus cereus (11778) Batch# 05-85SV (2 each)
7. Staphylococcus epidermidis (ATCC 12228) Batch# 11-86s (1 each)
8. Bacillus pumilus (ATCC 14884) Batch# 09-08-80 (2each)
Date : July 11, 1988
Sent to : Iraq Atomic Energy Commission
1. Escherichia coli (ATCC 11303) Batch# 04-87S Phage host
2. Cauliflower Mosaic Caulimovirus (ATCC45031) Batch# 06-14-85 Plant virus
3. Plasmid in Agrobacterium Tumefaciens (ATCC37349)
(Ti plasmid for co-cultivation with plant integration vectors in E. Coli) Batch# 05-28-85
Date : April 26, 1988
Sent to : Iraq Atomic Energy Commission
1. Hulambda4x-8, clone: human hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) Chromosome(s) X q26.1 (ATCC 57236) Phage vector; Suggested host: E.coli
2. Hulambda14-8, clone: human hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) Chromosome(s): X q26.1 (ATCC 57240) Phage vector; Suggested host: E.coli
3. Hulambda15, clone: human hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT)
Chromosome(s) X q26.1 (ATCC 57242) Phage vector; Suggested host: E.coli
Date : August 31, 1987
Sent to : Iraq Atomic Energy Commission
1. Escherichia coli (ATCC 23846) Batch# 07-29-83 (1 each)
2. Escherichia coli (ATCC 33694) Batch# 05-87 (1 each)
Date : September 29, 1988
Sent to : Ministry of Trade"
1. Bacillus anthracis (ATCC 240) Batch#05-14-63 (3 each)
Class III pathogen
2. Bacillus anthracis (ATCC 938) Batch#1963 (3 each)
Class III pathogen
3. Clostridium perfringens (ATCC 3629) Batch#10-23-85 (3 each)
4. Clostridium perfringens (ATCC 8009) Batch#03-30-84 (3 each)
5. Bacillus anthracis (ATCC 8705) Batch# 06-27-62 (3 each)
Class III pathogen
6. Brucella abortus (ATCC 9014) Batch# 05-11-66 (3 each)
Class III pathogen
7. Clostridium perfringens (ATCC 10388) Batch# 06-01-73 (3 each)
8. Bacillus anthracis (ATCC 11966) Batch# 05-05-70 (3 each)
Class III pathogen
9. Clostridium botulinum Type A Batch# 07-86 (3 each)
Class III pathogen
10. Bacillus cereus (ATCC 33018) Batch# 04-83 (3 each)
11. Bacillus ceres (ATCC 33019) Batch# 03-88 (3 each)
Date : January 31, 1989
Sent to : Iraq Atomic Energy Commission
1. PHPT31, clone: human hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) Chromosome(s) X q26.1 (ATCC 57057)
2. plambda500, clone: human hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase pseudogene
(HPRT) Chromosome(s): 5 p14-p13 (ATCC 57212)
Date : January 17, 1989
Sent to : Iraq Atomic Energy Commission
1. Hulambda4x-8, clone: human hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) Chromosome(s) X q26.1 (ATCC 57237) Phage vector; Suggested host: E.coli
2. Hulambda14, clone: human hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) Chromosome(s): X q26.1 (ATCC 57240) Cloned from human lymphoblast Phage vector; Suggested host: E.coli
3. Hulambda15, clone: human hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) Chromosome(s) X q26.1 (ATCC 57241) Phage vector; Suggested host: E.coli
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control has compiled a listing of biological materials shipped to Iraq prior to the Gulf War. The listing covers the period from October 1, 1984 (when the CDC began keeping records) through October 13, 1993. The following materials with biological warfare significance were shipped to Iraq during this period:(56)
Date : November 28, 1989
Sent to : University of Basrah, College of Science, Department of Biology
1. Enterococcus faecalis
2. Enterococcus faecium
3. Enterococcus avium
4. Enterococcus raffinosus
5. Enterococcus gallinarium
6. Enterococcus durans
7. Enterococcus hirae
8. Streptococcus bovis (etiologic)
Date : April 21, 1986
Sent to : Officers City Al-Muthanna, Quartret 710, Street 13, Close 69 House 28/I,
1. 1 vial botulinum toxoid (non-infectious)
Date : March 10, 1986
Sent to : Officers City Al-Muthanna, Quartret 710, Street 13, Close 69 House
1. 1 vial botulinum toxoid #A2 (non-infectious)
Date : June 25, 1985
Sent to : University of Baghdad, College of Medicine , Department of Microbiology
1. 3 yeast cultures (etiologic) Candida sp.
Date : May 21. 1985
Sent to : Basrah, Iraq
1. Lyophilized arbovirus seed (etiologic)
2. West Nile Fever Virus
Date : April 26, 1985
Sent to : Minister of Health, Ministry of Health, Baghdad, Iraq
1. 8 vials antigen and antisera (r. rickettsii and r. typhi) to diagnose
UNSCOM Biological Warfare Inspections
UNSCOM inspections uncovered evidence that the government of Iraq was conducting research on pathogen enhancement on the following biological warfare-related materials:(57)
In addition, the UNSCOM inspections revealed that biological warfare-related stimulant research was being conducted on the following materials:
UNSCOM reported to Committee staff that a biological warfare inspection (BW3) was conducted at the Iraq Atomic Energy Commission in 1993. This suggests that the Iraqi government may have been experimenting with the materials cited above (E.Coli and rDNA) in an effort to create genetically altered microorganisms (novel biological warfare agents). Committee staff plans to interview the BW3 team leader, Col. David Franz of the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in the near future. This phase of the investigation continues.
Biological Warfare Defense
The following section, describing the types, dissemination, and defensive measures against biological agents, is quoted verbatim from a United States Marine Corps Institute document, Nuclear and Chemical Operations, MCI 7711B, used in the Command and Staff College's nonresident program. It is clear from this document that the Department of Defense recognizes both the threat and U.S. vulnerability to biological weapons. This document also outlines the Department's understanding of what actions should be taken in the event that a biological weapon has been or is suspected to have been employed.
"Biological agents cannot be detected by the human senses. A person could become a casualty before he is aware he has been exposed to a biological agent. An aerosol or mist of biological agent is borne in the air. These agents can silently and effectively attack man, animals, plants, and in some cases, materiel. Agents can be tailored for a specific type of target.(58)
Methods of using antipersonnel agents undoubtedly vary so that no uniform pattern of employment or operation is evident. It is likely that agents will be used in combinations so that the disease symptoms will confuse diagnosis and interfere with proper treatment. It is also probable that biological agents would be used in heavy concentrations to insure a high percentage of infection in the target area. The use of such concentrations could result in the breakdown of individual immunity because the large number of micro-organisms entering the body could overwhelm the natural body defenses. (59)
Types of Biological Agents
Different antipersonnel agents require varying periods of time before they take effect, and the periods of time for which they will incapacitate a person also vary. Most of the diseases having antipersonnel employment potential are found among a group of diseases that are naturally transmitted between animals and man. Mankind is highly vulnerable to them since he has little contact with animals in today's urban society. The micro-organisms of possible use in warfare are found in four naturally occurring groups - the fungi, bacteria, rickettsiae, and viruses.(60)
a. Fungi. Fungi occur in many forms and are found almost everywhere. They range in size >from a single cell, such as yeast, to multicellular forms, such as mushrooms and puffballs. Their greatest employment potential is against plants, although some forms cause disease in man. A fungus causes the disease coccidioidomycosis in man. Other common infections caused by Fungi include ringworm and "athletes foot." (61)
b. Bacteria. Bacteria comprise a large and varied group of organisms. They occur in varying shapes, such as rods, spheres, and spirals, but they are all one-celled plants. Some bacteria can assume a resistant structure called a spore, which enables them to resist adverse environmental conditions. Others may produce poisonous substances called toxins. Examples of human disease caused by bacteria are anthrax, brucellosis, tularemia, staphylococcus, and streptococcus.(62)
c. Rickettsiae. Rickettsiae organisms have the physical appearance of bacteria and the growth characteristics of viruses. Members of this group must have living tissue for growth and reproduction, whereas most fungi and bacteria can be grown on artificial material. Another characteristic of rickettsiae is that most diseases caused by this group are transmitted by the bite of an insect, such as the mosquito, mite, or tick. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Q fever, and typhus are diseases of mankind caused by rickettsiae.(63)
d. Virus. The smallest living things known to mankind are viruses. Viruses are so small than an electron microscope is required to see them. Viruses cannot be grown in the absence of living tissue. Diseases which are caused by viruses cannot normally be treated with antibiotics. Viruses cause yellow fever, rabies, and poliomyelitis.(64)
Dissemination of Biological Agents
a. Aerosol. Biological agents may be disseminated on, or over, the target by many means, such as aircraft, missiles, and explosive munitions. These devices produce a biological aerosol, and, if antipersonnel biological agents are ever used, they will probably be disseminated in the form of biological mists or aerosols. This method of dissemination would be extremely effective because the micro-organisms would be drawn into the lungs as a person breathes, and there they would be rapidly absorbed into the blood stream. The hours >from dusk until dawn appear to be the best time for dissemination of biological agents. The weather conditions are most favorable for these agents at night, since sunlight will destroy many of them. In field trials, using harmless biological aerosols, area coverages of thousands of square miles have been accomplished. The aerosol particles were carried for long distances by air currents.(65) (emphasis added)
b. Living Hosts. Personnel may be infected by disease carrying vectors, such as insects, rats, or other animals. Mosquitos may spread malaria, yellow fever, or encephalitis; rats spread plague (any mammal may carry rabies). Militarily, specific vectors may be selected, infected as required, and then released in the target area to seek out their human victims and pass on the disease. Since infection is transmitted through a bite in the skin, protective masks offer no protection. A vectorborne agent may remain in the target area for as long as there are live hosts; thus, a major disadvantage results. The vectorborne agent can become a permanent hazard in the area as the host infects others of his species.(66)
c. Food and Water Contamination. Biological agents could also be delivered to target personnel by placing the agent in food and water supplies (sabotage). This type of attack would probably be directed against small targets, such as industrial complexes, headquarters, or specific individuals. The methods of delivering the attack are many and varied. (67)
The United States carries out research aimed at improved means of detection of biological agents and treatment and immunization of personnel. Both of these are essential to biological defense.(68)
a. Before an Attack: The inability of the individual to detect a biological attack is perhaps the greatest problem. Contributing factors are the delay experienced before the onset of symptoms and the time required to identify specific agents. Without an adequate means of detection, complete defensive measures may not be taken since an attack must first be detected before you can defend against it. Diseases caused by biological agents do not appear until a few days to weeks after contact with the agent. Personnel are protected against biological agents in aerosol form by the protective mask. Ordinary clothing protects the skin from contamination by biological agents. Other means of protection include immunizations; quarantining contaminated areas; cleanliness of the body, clothing, and living quarters; stringent rodent and pest control; proper care of cuts and wounds; and education of troops to eat and drink only from approved sources.(69)
b. After an Attack: After a biological agent attack has occurred, it will be necessary to identify the agent used in the attack so that proper medical treatment may be given to exposed personnel. To perform this identification, it is necessary to collect samples or objects from the contaminated area and send them to a laboratory or suitable facility for processing. Samples may by taken from the air, from contaminated surfaces, or from contaminated water. After the sample is taken, laboratory time will be required to identify the suspected biological agent. The length of time for identification is being significantly shortened through the use of new medical and laboratory techniques. Proper defensive actions taken during a biological attack depend upon the rapid detection of the attack. Biological defense is continuous. You must always be prepared for the employment of these weapons.(70) (emphasis added)
Iraq's Experience in the Use of Chemical Warfare Agents
The fears and the precautions taken prior to the Gulf War were not the product of excessive hysteria. Five United Nations reports have confirmed the use of chemical warfare agents in the Iran-Iraq War.(71) Use of chemical weapons against both the Kurds and Shiite Moslems within Iraq is well documented. Press reports also document Iraqi readiness to use these weapons against Coalition forces during the Persian Gulf War.
In April 1993, two U.S.-based human rights organizations confirmed that they had found residues of chemical weapons used by the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein against a Kurdish village in northern Iraq in 1988. These groups, Physicians for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch, said they had used advanced analytical techniques to discover the presence of mustard gas and the nerve gas Sarin. Those chemical weapons reportedly were dropped by aircraft on August 25, 1988 and killed four people in the Kurdish village of Birjinni.(72) Testimony from survivors of the Birjinni bombing, who said many victims of the raids died writhing and coughing blood, led to accusations that Iraq had gassed its own citizens as part of a campaign against rebellious Kurds that killed tens of thousands.(73) This was the first time that scientists had been able to prove the use of chemical weapons, and especially a nerve gas, through the analysis of environmental residue acquired years after such an attack occurred.(74)
Soil samples were gathered from the 1988 bombing sites and then delivered to a British laboratory. Chemists at Porton Down found traces of mustard gas and Sarin. Dr. Graham Pearson, director of the British Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment, verified these results and confirmed the samples were taken from bomb craters near the northern Iraqi village of Birjinni in June 1992. The byproducts of the breakdown of these poisons are so specific that they provide a "unique fingerprint" in chemical analysis that points directly to a poison gas attack.(75)
An earlier attack had been reported on March 17, 1988 on the village of Halabja. Amnesty International reported that chemical weapons were used in an attack by Iraq, in which "some 5,000 Kurds were killed within an hour."(76)
A U.N. team sent to investigate the attack found evidence of chemical weapons, although they did not rule on who carried out the attack on the town, which had been occupied by Iran since mid-March. (77)
On September 26, 1993, Shiite rebels living in the southern Iraqi marshlands reported an early morning shelling attack by Iraqi forces. The eyewitnesses, who spoke with a New York Times reporter, mentioned that the shells landed with a thud "and not the usual explosion" sending up white clouds. The artillery attack was followed by a ground assault by Iraqi troops who were equipped with gas masks.(78)
A Shiite rebel claimed that upon entering one of the Iraqi armored personnel carriers they found battle orders calling for a chemical attack. Rebel leaders provided a copy of the captured orders. Written in Arabic on the twenty-sixth of September, the orders, numbered 1-15, instructed the Iraqi soldiers to use chemical weapons to "retake the village" and that " 'each soldier must be instructed on how to respond during the chemical attack.'"(79)
After the attack, some villagers returned for their belongings, but there was nothing left. They discovered that trees and plants had withered and yellowed. Furthermore, "the cats, the dogs, the birds and even the water snakes had died. But for some reason the victims had been removed by the troops. We saw no bodies."(80)
In November 1993, a nine-member U.N. inspection team arrived to take samples from the area of the alleged chemical attack. The results of the inspection were inconclusive.
It is also suspected that Iraq may have used biological agents (mycotoxins) during the 1984 attack on Majnoon Island, during the Iran-Iraq War, and in 1988 against the Kurds (cholera and typhus). However, no medical verification of Iraqi use of biological warfare agents yet exists.(81)
The above documented instances of chemical weapons use (and suspected use)
against Iranians, Kurds, and Shiites undermine Department of Defense assertions
that Iraq may not have used these weapons against Coalition forces because
they "feared contamination of their own
men."(82) Marine Brigadier General Richard
Neil said that prisoner debriefings of Persian Gulf War EPWs had "yielded
the impression that the Iraqis were not comfortable operating in a chemical
environment,...and...Iraqi soldiers had poor chemical protection equipment
of their own." (83) Lt. General Thomas Kelly
stated in a press briefing that was that "the Iraqi Army was very uncomfortable,
we are finding out from the POWs, about the use of chemical weapons because
they are not familiar with it." (84) However,
as the preceding paragraphs make clear,
the Iraqi Army had operational experience with the use of these weapons, unlike their American counterparts.
1. Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, "Chemical Weapons In The Third World," 2; "Iraq's Expanding Chemical Arsenal," House Republican Research Committee, U.S. House of Representatives (May 29, 1990), 9-10; Anthony H. Cordesman, After the Storm: The Changing Military Balance in the Middle East (Boulder and San Francisco: Westview Press, 1993), 497-498.
2. Anthony H. Cordesman, After the Storm: The Changing Military Balance in the Middle East (Boulder and San Francisco: Westview Press, 1993), 498, 546. According to Cordesman, some of these reports may be exaggerated. "There is no question that Falluja had large scale facilities, but some of these facilities seem to produce nothing but the precursor chemicals for sarin, like phosphorous oxychloride and phosphorous trichloride. Falluja had been concentrating on the production of precursors." For additional views, see Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, "Chemical Weapons In The Third World," 2; "Iraq's Expanding Chemical Arsenal," House Republican Research Committee, U.S. House of Representatives (May 29, 1990), 8.
3. Peter Dunn, "The Chemical War: Journey to Iran," NBC Defense and Technology International, pp. 28-37; W.Seth Carus, The Genie Unleashed: Iraq's Chemical and Biological Weapons Production, (Washington: Washington Institute Policy Papers, No. 14) 22-23; Foreign Report (March 31, 1988), 12; Jane's Defence Weekly (January 9, 1998), 3; Jane's Defence Weekly (February 27, 1988), 336; Anthony H. Cordesman, After the Storm: The Changing Military Balance in the Middle East (Boulder and San Francisco: Westview Press, 1993) 498, 546.
4. Michael Eisenstadt, The Sword of the Arabs: Iraq's Strategic Weapons (Washington: Washington Institute Policy Papers, No. 21, September 1990), 7; Seth Carus, "Chemical Weapons in the Middle East," Policy Focus, No. 9, Washington Institute for Near East Policy (December 1988), 4; "Iraq's Scare Tactic," Newsweek (August 2, 1982);"In Mideast, Warfare of a New Nature: Chemical Arms, Ballistic Missiles Mark New Nature of Mideast Warfare," Washington Post (April 5, 1988), A1; Dick Palowski, Changes in Threat Air Combat Doctrine and Force Structure, 24th Edition (Fort Worth: General Dynamics DWIC-91, February 1992), II-325, II-334; Jane's Soviet Intelligence Review (June 1989), 256; Foreign Report (March 31, 1988), 1; New York Times (November 12, 1991; as cited in Anthony H. Cordesman, After the Storm: The Changing Military Balance in the Middle East (Boulder and San Francisco: Westview Press, 1993), 499, 547;
5. Frank J. Prial, "U.N. Team Finds Chemical Arms Four Times Greater Than Iraq Claims," New York Times (July 31, 1991), A1.
6. Duncan Lennox, Janes: Strategic Weapons Systems (Surrey, U.K.: Janes Information Group, 1990); George Lardner, Jr., "No Iraq Move Seen Until Attack Near: CIA Expects Saddam to Extend Crisis," Washington Post (December 15, 1990), A1.
8. Rick Atkinson, "No Chemical Arms Found on Battlefield: U.S. Says Iraqi Logistics Failed," Washington Post (March 7, 1991), A1.
9. "No Iraqi Chemical Munitions Have Turned Up So Far," United Press International (March 2, 1991), BC Cycle.
10. Staff Interviews.
11. Staff Interviews.
12. Staff interview.
13. The Boston Globe, (March 3, 1991), 1.
14. The Associated Press, (February 24, 1991), Sunday, BC cycle; David Evans, William Neikirk, David Elsner, Linnet Myers, "U.S. Tanks vs. Desert Sand First Priority: Breach Iraqi Minefields," Chicago Tribune (December 15, 1991), A3.
15. USA TODAY, (March 1, 1991), 3A; "War Log," Gannett Company, Inc., International Edition (March 1, 1991), A3.
16. James Adams and Andrew Alderson, Strategic View from the Saddam Bunker, The Times Newspapers, Ltd., (February 2, 1991); "British Paper Says Saddam Hussein Approved the Use of Chemical Weapons," Reuters, (February 2, 1991), A.M. Cycle .
17. Jesse Birnbaum, "The Prisoners," Time Magazine, (March 4, 1991).
18. Tom Masland and Douglas Walker, "Are We Ready for Chemical War," Newsweek, (March 4, 1991).
19. John Fullerton, "Britian's Phantom Army Helped Defeat Iraq, Reuters, (March 2, 1991).
20. "New Method Found to Destroy Iraqi Poison Gas Shells," Xinhua News Service, Item No. 0320210, Cairo, Egypt (March 20, 1993); Brent Sadler, "U.N. and Iraqi Teams Work to Destroy Chemical Weapons," Cable News Network Transcript #133-5 (October 8, 1992).
Note: A Scud warhead should be able to hold much more than 5 gallons
Additional information is being sought regarding the configuration of these warheads.
21. B.Gen Walter Busbee, in oral remarks at The Chemical Weapons Convention Seminar Series, hosted by The Henry L. Stimson Center (May 12, 1994).
22. "New Method Found to Destroy Iraqi Poison Gas Shells," Xinhua News Agency (March 20, 1993); "United Nations Destroying Iraqi Nerve Gas Stockpiles," Associated Press (September 24, 1992); Judith Perera, "Iraq: Chemical Weapons Program Disabled, Say U.N. Inspectors," Inter Press Service (September 29, 1992).
23. Victoria Graham, "Chemical Weapons Destruction Team Resumes Work," Associated Press (January 23, 1993) A.M. Cycle.
24. Staff interview, February 22, 1994.
25. Bill Gertz, "Biological Arms Elude Inspectors," WashingtonTimes (April 21, 1992), A1; Staff interviews, UNSCOM.
26. JPRS-TAC-94-003 (March 7, 1994), Citing the (Clandestine) Voice of the Iraqi People in Arabic, 1400 GMT, 13 Feb 94.
27. Interview with Dr. Sanford Leffingwell, Center for Disease Control on September 3, 1993. Dr. Leffingwell advised that Soviet Chemical Warfare Doctrine recommends the use of mixed agents in chemical warfare attacks (using several canisters of agents); Anthony H. Cordesman, After the Storm: The Changing Military Balance in the Middle East (Boulder and San Francisco: Westview Press, 1993), 499, 547; Jane's Defence Weekly (January 9, 1988); Jane's Defense Weekly (January 28, 1989); Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, "Chemical Weapons In The Third World," 2; "Iraq's Expanding Chemical Arsenal," House Republican Research Committee, U.S. House of Representatives (May 29, 1990),10.
30. H. Kadivar and S.C. Adams, "Treatment of Chemical and Biological Warfare Injuries; Insights Derived From the 1984 Attack on Majnoon Island," Military Medicine, (April 1991), 171-7.
31. United States, Department of the Army, Field Manual 100-5, Operations (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Army, August 1982), 7-13;Joachim Krause and Charles K. Mallory, Chemical Weapons in Soviet Military Doctrine: Military and Historical Experience, 1915-1991, (Boulder, Co.: Westview Press, 1992), 142-143.
33. Joachim Krause and Charles K. Mallory, Chemical Weapons in Soviet Military Doctrine: Military and Historical Experience, 1915-1991, (Boulder, Co.: Westview Press, 1992), 208-9; V.V. Miasnikov, Defense Against Weapons of Mass-Destruction: A Guide (Moscow: Voyenizdat, 1984), 78; James Compton, Military Chemical and Biological Agents: Chemical and Toxicological Properties (Caldwell, N.J.: The Telford Press, September 1987), 146, 153.
34. William Booth, "Gas Masks, Antidote Cause Three Deaths and Illness in Israel," Washington Post (January 19, 1991) A20.
35. Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for Soman (GD), Sarin (GB) and VX, prepared by the U.S. Army Chemical Research, Development and Engineering Center, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. (See appendix A).
36. Joachim Krause and Charles K. Mallory, Chemical Weapons in Soviet Military Doctrine: Military and Historical Experience, 1915-1991, (Boulder, Co.: Westview Press, 1992), 208); James A.F. Compton, Military Chemical and Biological Agents: Chemical and Toxicological Properties (Caldwell, NJ: The Telford Press, September 1987); Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for Soman (GD), Sarin (GB) and VX, prepared by the U.S. Army Chemical Research, Development and Engineering Center, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. (See appendix A).
37. Joachim Krause and Charles K. Mallory, Chemical Weapons in Soviet Military Doctrine: Military and Historical Experience, 1915-1991, (Boulder, Co.: Westview Press, 1992), 209.
38. Ibid, 209.
39. Ibid, 210.
40. Ibid, 205.
41. Interview with Dr. Sanford Leffingwell, Center for Disease Control on September 3, 1993.
42. Joachim Krause and Charles K. Mallory, Chemical Weapons in Soviet Military Doctrine: Military and Historical Experience, 1915-1991, (Boulder, Co.: Westview Press, 1992), 202; V.V. Miasnikov, Defense Against Weapons of Mass-Destruction: A Guide (Moscow: Voyenizdat, 1984, 82-83).
43. Joachim Krause and Charles K. Mallory, Chemical Weapons in Soviet Military Doctrine: Military and Historical Experience, 1915-1991, (Boulder, Co.: Westview Press, 1992), 205; V.V. Miasnikov, Defense Against Weapons of Mass-Destruction: A Guide (Moscow: Voyenizdat, 1984, 82; Vladimir K. Pikalov, "Toxic Agents," The Soviet Military Encyclopedia, Volume 6 (Moscow: Voyenizdat, 1978).
44. Vladimir K. Pikalov, "Toxic Agents," The Soviet Military Encyclopedia, Volume 6 (Moscow: Voyenizdat, 1978); Joachim Krause and Charles K. Mallory, Chemical Weapons in Soviet Military Doctrine: Military and Historical Experience, 1915-1991, (Boulder, Co.: Westview Press, 1992), 206-7.
45. Staff Interviews, April 19, 1994.
46. Joachim Krause and Charles K. Mallory, Chemical Weapons in Soviet Military Doctrine: Military and Historical Experience, 1915-1991, (Boulder, Co.: Westview Press, 1992), 162, 209.
47. Bill Gertz, "Biological Arms Elude Inspectors," Washington Times (April 21, 1992), A1.
48. Staff interview, February 22, 1994.
50. Bill Richardson, John Carrico, Col. Frank J. Cox, LTC Jeffery Thomas, and Richard Sanders, Chemical/Biological Program: A Department of Defense Perspective, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Atomic Energy, presented as a paper to the Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Symposium of the American Defense Preparedness Association, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (May 12-14, 1993), 10.
51. Staff Interview, UNSCOM, February 22, 1994.
52. "Iraq Launches Drive to Combat Increasing Communicable Diseases," Xinhua News Agency (June 8, 1993), Item No: 0608002; "Iraq Faces Health Crisis," The Guardian (September 13, 1993), 7.
53. Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report to Congress (April 1992).
54. Terry J. Gander, ed., Jane's NBC Protection Equipment 1991-92, (Surrey, U.K.: Jane's Information Group, 1992), 3-12: Dorland's Pocket Medical Dictionary, 24th Edition (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 1989); James A.F. Compton, Military Chemical and Biological Agents: Chemical and Toxicological Properties (Caldwell, NJ: The Telford Press, September 1987).
55. American Type Culture Collection, Rockville, Maryland (January 21, 1994).
56. Memorandum from Director of the Centers for Disease Control to Chairman Riegle.
57. Staff interview, UNSCOM, February 22, 1994..
58. Nuclear and Chemical Operations, MCI 7711B, Marine Corps Institute, Command and Staff College's nonresident program (Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., 1983), p. 8, section 1501.
60. Ibid, p. 9, section 1502.
61. Ibid, p. 9, section 1502a.
62. Ibid, p. 9, Section 1502b.
63. Ibid, p. 9, Section 1502c.
64. Ibid, p. 9, Section 1502d.
65. Ibid, p. 9, Section 1503a.
66. Ibid, p. 9, Section 1503b.
67. Ibid, p. 9, Section 1503c.
68. Ibid, p. 10, Section 1504.
69. Ibid, p. 10, Section 1504a.
70. Ibid, p. 10, Section 1504b.
71. Steven R. Bowman, Congressional Research Service Issue Brief: Chemical Weapons Proliferation: Issues for Congress, IB90084 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, Foreign Affairs and Defense Division, Updated August 17, 1993) 2.
72. "Washington Dateline: Group Offers Evidence Iraq Used Poison Gas Against Own People," Associated Press (April 29, 1993), PM Cycle; Deborah Zabarenko, "Scientists: Lab Shows Iraq Used Poison Gas on Kurds," Reuters (April 29, 1993), BC Cycle.
75. "British Lab Shows Iraq Used Poison Gas on Kurds," Associated Press, Press Newsfile (April 29, 1993).
76. Patricia Dibsie, "Kurds Demonstrate in Memory of 5,000 Killed by Iraqi Weapons," San Diego Union Tribune, (March 18, 1994).
77. Iraq Says it Has Launched a New Offensive Against Iran," Reuters, (May 28, 1988), P.M. Cycle.
78. Chris Hedges, "In a Remote Southern Marsh, Iraq is Strangling the Shiites," New York Times (November 16, 1993), A1.
81. Thomas Hargrove, "Doctors Say Gulf War Vets Gasses: Biological Weapons Believed Responsible for Mysterious Ailments of Returned U.S. Troops," San Francisco Examiner (November 17, 1993), A7;H. Kadivar and S.C. Adams, "Treatment of Chemical and Biological Warfare Injuries; Insights Derived From the 1984 Attack on Majnoon Island," Military Medicine, (April 1991), 171-7; A. Heyndrickx, "Chemical Warfare Injuries," The Lancet, Vol. 337 (February 16, 1991)..
82. Tony Walker, "The Gulf Ceasefire; Formal Ceasefire Talks to Begin Soon -- Victors Will Meet Vanquished Amid Claims of Truce Violations, Financial Times, (March 2, 1991).
83. Ann Deuroy and Guy Gugliotta, "Bush to Move Fast on Mideast Peace; Ceasefire Talks Delayed by 'Technical Details'," Washington Post, (March 2, 1991), A1.
84. Federal News Service, Department of Defense Regular Briefing (March 4, 1991).
See Ban 'Depleted' Uranium Campaign with Doug Rokke