The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

062596_cia_66846_61709_01.txt
Subject: CW USE IN IRAN-IRAQ WAR
Not Finally Evaluated Intelligence
TO FACILITATE ELECTRONIC ACCESS, THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN
REFORMATTED TO ELIMINATE INFORMATION THAT DOES NOT PERTAIN
TO GULF WAR ILLNESS ISSUES OR THAT IS CLASSIFIED. A COPY OF
THIS REDACTED DOCUMENT, IN ORIGINAL FORMAT, IS AVAILABLE ON
REQUEST.
COUNTRY:  IRAQ/IRAN
SUBJ:  1. IRAQI STRATEGY AND TACTICS IN THE USE OF CHEMICAL
WEAPONS DURING THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR
2. WEAPONS SYSTEMS USED BY IRAQI FORCES TO DELIVER
CHEMICAL WEAPONS DURING THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR
DOI:  1986-1988
DURING THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR, IRAQI FORCES
APPEARED TO HAVE NO SOPHISTICATED STRATEGIC OR TACTICAL PLAN FOR
THE EMPLOYMENT OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS SYSTEMS.
2. IRAQI FORCES USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS UNDER TWO TYPES OF
CIRCUMSTANCES: AS PART OF A SPOILING ATTACK TO REPEL IRANIAN
FORCES AFTER IRGC UNITS HAD MADE IMPORTANT ADVANCES AGAINST
IRAQI POSITIONS, AND AS PREPARATION FIRING IN ADVANCE OF AN
IRAQI ASSAULT. BY THE END OF THE WAR, IRAQI FORCES USED
CHEMICAL WEAPONS FREQUENTLY, AND IRAQ'S USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS
WAS LIMITED ONLY BY WIND AND WEATHER CONDITIONS AND THEIR
ABILITY TO DELIVER CHEMICAL MUNITIONS ON TARGET.
3. FOLLOWING A SIGNIFICANT IRGC ADVANCE AGAINST IRAQI
POSITIONS; IRAQ WOULD SATURATE THE AREA WITH CHEMICAL MUNITIONS
TO PREVENT IRAN FROM CONSOLIDATING ITS POSITION. THIS WAS DONE
WITH RELATIVELY LITTLE REGARD FOR THE SAFETY OF IRAQ'S OWN
TROOPS WHO WERE IN OR NEAR THE CHEMICALLY CONTAMINATED AREA.
DESPITE ITS RELATIVE LACK OF CONCERN FOR ITS OWN FORCES, IRAQ
APPARENTLY DID CONSIDER THE DOWNWIND HAZARD AREA OF THE CHEMICAL
ATTACK IN ITS PLANNING. IRAQ WAS MOST LIKELY TO USE CHEMICAL
WEAPONS NEAR ITS OWN POSITIONS WHEN ITS TROOPS WERE PROTECTED
AND WARNED. IRAQ'S WILLINGNESS TO USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS ON OR
NEAR ITS OWN TROOPS APPARENTLY VARIED DEPENDED TO AN EXTENT UPON
HOW WELL PREPARED A GIVEN GROUP OF SOLDIERS WAS TO SURVIVE A
CHEMICAL ATTACK. THIS RETICENCE DID NOT PRECLUDE IRAQ FROM
USING CHEMICAL WEAPONS ON COMBAT ZONES WHERE ITS OWN EXPOSED
SOLDIERS WERE FIGHTING ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS.
FOLLOWING A CHEMICAL ATTACK, IRAQ NORMALLY
INITIATED IMMEDIATE CONVENTIONAL OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS TO RETAKE
CAPTURED AREAS.
 4. SIMILARLY, IRAQI CONVENTIONAL OFFENSIVES WERE
FREQUENTLY PRECEEDED BY AN IRAQI CHEMICAL ATTACK AS PREPARATION
FIRING FOR THE AREA TO BE ASSAULTED BY IRAQI FORCES. A
CONVENTIONAL ATTACK WHICH WOULD SHORTLY FOLLOW THE INITIAL
CHEMICAL ATTACK. IRAQI FORCES WOULD WAIT FOR FAVORABLE WIND
CONDITIONS AND FOR THE EFFECTS OF CHEMICAL AGENTS TO DIMINISH
BEFORE MOVING INTO A CHEMICAL CONTAMINATED AREA. USUALLY A
PERIOD OF BETWEEN 30 MINUTES AND ONE HOUR WAS NEEDED BEFORE A
CHEMICAL CONTAMINATED AREA BECAME SAFE FOR IRAQI FORCES TO
ENTER. IRAQI FORCES WERE WELL EQUIPPED WITH BOTH PROTECTIVE
MASKS AND CHEMICAL PROTECTIVE OVERGARMENTS.
IRAQ'S RELATIVE
DISREGARD FOR THE SAFETY OF ITS OWN TROOPS IN THE USE OF
CHEMICAL MUNITIONS MAY HAVE BEEN PARTLY BASED ON IRAQ'S
ASSUMPTION THAT ITS OWN UNITS WOULD BE ABLE TO DON PROTECTIVE
EQUIPMENT WHICH WOULD PROTECT THEM FROM THE EFFECTS OF TOXIC
CHEMICAL AGENTS. REGARDLESS OF IRAQ'S RATIONALE, LARGE NUMBERS
OF IRAQ'S OWN TROOPS WERE KILLED OR INJURED DURING IRAQI
CHEMICAL ATTACKS.
5. THE PRINCIPAL LIMITATIONS TO IRAQ'S USE OF CHEMICAL
WEAPONS SYSTEMS IN A GIVEN BATTLEFIELD WERE UNFAVORABLE WIND AND
WEATHER CONDITIONS AND IRAQ'S ABILITY TO DELIVER CHEMICAL
MUNITIONS ON TARGET. IRAQ USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS DURING ALL
SEASONS OF THE YEAR. THE ONLY WEATHER CONDITION WHICH PREVENTED
IRAQ FROM USING CHEMICAL WEAPONS WAS RAIN. RAIN DISSIPATED THE
EFFECT OF THE CHEMICAL AGENTS, BUT WAS UNUSUAL IN THE ARID
REGION WHERE MUCH OF THE WAR WAS FOUGHT. IF IRAQI VILLAGES OR
FORCES LAY IN DOWNWIND HAZARD AREA AND COULD BE EFFECTED BY AN
IRAQI ATTACK ON A NEARBY AREA, IRAQI FORCES WOULD NORMALLY WAIT
FOR THE WIND TO DIMINISH OR CHANGE DIRECTION BEFORE LAUNCHING A
CHEMICAL ATTACK.
6. IRAQ USED MORTARS, ARTILLERY, HELICOPTERS AND
FlXED-WING AIRCRAFT TO DELIVER CHEMICAL MUNITIONS. ONE
LIMITATION ON IRAQ'S USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS WAS THE DISTANCE OF
ATTACKING IRAQI FORCES FROM AREAS TO BE ATTACKED AND WHETHER
THOSE UNITS POSSESSED THE EQUIPMENT NECESSARY TO DELIVER
CHEMICAL MUNITIONS. IF IRANIAN POSITIONS WERE OUT OF MORTAR OR
ARTILLERY RANGE, IRAQI FORCES WERE UNABLE TO USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS.
7.          WHEN IRAQ FIRST BEGAN
USING CHEMICAL WEAPONS SYSTEMS CIRCA 1985-1986, THEIR USE WAS
UNUSUAL AND SPORADIC. GRADUALLY, CHEMICAL WEAPONS WERE USED
MORE OFTEN AND BY THE END OF THE WAR CHEMICAL WEAPONS WERE USED
COMMONLY. DURING THE LATTER STAGES OF THE WAR, IRAQ APPARENTLY
USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS WHENEVER IT WAS CONSIDERED TACTICALLY
APPROPRIATE.          IRAQ WAS NOT AT ALL
CONSTRAINED IN ITS USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, AND THE FACT THAT
THE USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS VIOLATED INTERNATIONAL CHEMICAL
WEAPONS DURING THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR DID NOT SEEM TO ENTER THE IRAQI
DECISION-MAKING PROCESS IN DECIDING TO USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS.
8. FOR MORTARS AND ARTILLERY, IRAQI FORCES ACHIEVED
SOMETHING OF A MULTIPLIER EFFECT BY USING MANY MORTAR TUBES OR
ARTILLERY PIECES SIMULTANEOUSLY TO SATURATE AN AREA. THIS
RESULTED IN THE CONTAMINATION OF A GREATER AREA THAN COULD HAVE
BEEN ACHIEVED BY THE SAME NUMBER OF MORTAR TUBES OR ARTILLERY
PIECES USED INDEPENDENTLY. FOLLOWING IS THE VOLUME CONTAMINATED
BY FIRING ONE ROUND OF VARIOUS SIZE MORTARS USING CHEMICAL
MUNITIONS:
A. 60 MM MORTAR - 50 CUBIC METERS
B. 80 MM MORTAR - 200 CUBIC METERS
C. 81 MM MORTAR - SLIGHTLY MORE THAN 200 CUBIC METERS
D. 120 MM MORTAR - 1000 CUBIC METERS
9. THE AREA CONTAMINATED BY IRAQI ARTILLERY USING
CHEMICAL MUNITIONS DEPENDED ON THE SIZE OF THE WEAPONS SYSTEM.
THE LARGER THE WEAPONS SYSTEM, THE GREATER THE AREA
CONTAMINATED. THE AREA EFFECTED BY THE LARGEST OF IRAQ'S
ARTILLERY PIECES IS 3000-4000 CUBIC METERS. WHEN
IRAQI GROUND FORCES COULD NOT BE USED TO BLUNT A PENETRATING
IRANIAN ADVANCE, IRAQ SOMETIMES USED HELICOPTERS TO DELIVER
CHEMICAL MUNITIONS. IRAQ NORMALLY USED TWO TO THREE HELICOPTERS
IN SUCH ATTACKS. THE HELICOPTERS CARRIED BOMBS CONFIGURED IN
220 LITER CONTAINERS WHICH DETONATED UPON CONTACT WITH THE GROUND.
10. IRAQI CHEMICAL ATTACKS USING FIXED-WING AIRCRAFT
OCCURRED QUICKLY AND WERE USED IN SITUATIONS IN WHICH IRAQ
WANTED TO CONTAMINATE A LARGE AREA WITH CHEMICAL MUNITIONS SOME
DISTANCE FROM IRAQI GROUND FORCES.
IRAQ ATTACKED
WITH FIVE PLANES. THE IRAQIS USED MIG-23 AND MIG-27 AIRCRAFT TO
DELIVER 500-POUND CHEMICAL BOMBS. EACH AIRCRAFT CARRIED FOUR TO
SIX BOMBS AND USING THIS CONFIGURATION COULD EASILY CONTAMINATE
AN ENTIRE CITY WITH CHEMICAL MUNITIONS.
COMMENTED THAT THE IRAQI CHEMICAL BOMBS WERE UNRELIABLE AND UP
TO 50 PERCENT OF THE BOMBS FAILED TO DETONATE.
END OF MESSAGE
1.5 (c)
66846:61709
First Page |Prev Page |Next Page |Src Image




NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list