'Chemical weapons' found in Iraq

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Lefty Wilbury, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. Lefty Wilbury
    Offline

    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    1,109
    Thanks Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Ratings:
    +36
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3386357.stm

    'Chemical weapons' found in Iraq


    Danish troops have found dozens of mortar shells in southern Iraq which could contain chemical weapons according to initial tests.

    The 36 120mm mortar rounds appeared to have been buried for at least 10 years, the army said.

    All showed traces of blister gases, the army said, a group of chemical compounds which include mustard gas.

    US officials confirmed the apparent find and said the weapons were probably left over from the 1980-88 war on Iran.

    Results of more extensive tests should be available in about two days, the Danes said on an official website quoted by the Reuters news agency.

    The Danish troops, who serve with the US-led coalition in Iraq, will continue searches for any more weapons buried at the same site, north of Basra.

    US military spokesman Brigadier-General Mark Kimmitt said of the shells: "Most were wrapped in plastic bags, and some were leaking."

    "We're doing some preliminary tests... to be sure that if they do contain any kind of blistering agent they will be disposed of," he said.

    The former regime of Saddam Hussein used blister agents against Iranian soldiers during the Iran-Iraq war.

    Chemical weapons were also used to kill about 5,000 Kurds in the northern city of Halabja in 1988.

    War-time use

    Before the US-led war to overthrow Saddam Hussein, Iraq said it had destroyed all its chemical weapons, but the alleged continuing threat from weapons of mass destruction were cited by the US and UK leaders as a key reason for the war.

    But a nine-month search for stockpiles of chemical, biological or nuclear arms has found no proof of an ongoing weapons programme which could have been used against coalition forces.

    On Thursday, a 400-strong team of weapons disposal experts was withdrawn from Iraq but US administration officials insisted their job had been completed.

    Blister agents, such as mustard gas, were developed and first used by the Germans in World War I. Italy and Egypt have also used such chemical weapons against enemies.

    The agents burn skin, eyes and lungs as they are absorbed, causing large blisters on skin and inside lungs and windpipes.

    Effects are delayed for up to 12 hours after exposure, which can allow the agent to cause severe damage before it is detected.
     
  2. DKSuddeth
    Offline

    DKSuddeth Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Messages:
    5,175
    Thanks Received:
    61
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    North Texas
    Ratings:
    +62
    it should say 'possible'. How many times have we heard the find announcement only to learn later that it really wasn't?

    I'm reserving judgement til final analysis is in.
     
  3. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770
    by DK

    and if found 'reliable' will the excuse be that there were so small a number?
     
  4. wonderwench
    Online

    wonderwench Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    I suspect that the excuse from people who don't want to believe will be that the weapons have been buried for 10 years.
     
  5. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770
    It could be the 'mother of all bombs,' yet the left would find a way to discount.

    Now on the other hand, regardless of who wins in 2004, though I'm more than a bit confident it will be Bush/GOP, the WOT will not end within term, how do we define it?
     
  6. wonderwench
    Online

    wonderwench Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    The WOT is a containment effort to minimize the threat of terrorism by dismantling the logistical and financial support network. As long as Wahabbism is practised, there will be some fanatical offshoots who will pursue a jihad against the West.
     
  7. DKSuddeth
    Offline

    DKSuddeth Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Messages:
    5,175
    Thanks Received:
    61
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    North Texas
    Ratings:
    +62
    it didn't sound like there was a small number to me, however, if they WERE remnants of the first iraq war, how effective could they have been? Someone had some info on the halflife of these things somewhere. regardless, this would be definite proof, in my eyes, that he was not destroying weapons, but in fact hiding them.
     
  8. wonderwench
    Online

    wonderwench Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    Good for you DK! If these do contain blister gas, they are proof.
     
  9. lilcountriegal
    Offline

    lilcountriegal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Messages:
    1,633
    Thanks Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Ratings:
    +59
    Not that it was lacking previously, but my respect for you just shot up ten-fold, DK.

    :clap:
     
  10. 5stringJeff
    Offline

    5stringJeff Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    Messages:
    9,990
    Thanks Received:
    536
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Puyallup, WA
    Ratings:
    +540
    Here's some info on mustard gas and its properties. It appears that as long as you keep it dry, it will not decay until you need it.
    http://www.inchem.org/documents/pims/chemical/mustardg.htm
     

Share This Page