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070296_cia_73922_73922_01.txt
Subject: IRAQ CHEMICAL WEAPONS
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.
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
WASHINGTON, D.C.
20 FEBRUARY 1991
MEMORANDUM
SUBJECT:  IRAQI USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN THE WAR WITH IRAN
1. WE ESTIMATE THAT IRAN SUFFERED MORE THAN 50,000
CASUALTIES--INCLUDING THOUSANDS OF FATALITIES--FROM CHEMICAL
WEAPONS IN THE WAR WITH IRAQ.
2. IRAQ'S EFFECTIVE USE OF CW IMPROVED DURING THE COURSE
OF THE WAR. FROM 1983 THROUGH EARLY 1986, THE IRAQIS
FREQUENTLY USED AGENTS UNDER UNSUITABLE WEATHER CONDITIONS,
WITH WIND CARRYING THE AGENT TOWARD THEIR OWN TROOPS. IRAQI
PILOTS OFTEN RELEASED CHEMICAL MUNITIONS FROM ALTITUDES TOO
HIGH TO PERMIT ACCURATE, CONCENTRATED STRIKES. FROM LATE 1986
TO EARLY 1988, HOWEVER, CHEMICAL WEAPONS WERE USED EFFECTIVELY
AGAINST STAGING AREAS TO PREEMPT IRANIAN OFFENSIVES. IRAQ ALSO
BEGAN TO INTEGRATE CW INTO ITS SUCCESSFUL BATTLEFIELD TACTICS,
USING MASSED NERVE AGENT STRIKES AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF
OFFENSIVES.
3. IRAQ'S CHEMICAL WEAPONS WERE EFFECTIVE IN LARGE
MEASURE BECAUSE THE IRANIANS WERE NOT PREPARED OR TRAINED TO
FIGHT IN A CHEMICAL ENVIRONMENT. MANY IRANIANS LACKED
PROTECTIVE MASKS, AND SOME OF THOSE WHO HAD MASKS COULD NOT
OBTAIN A PROPER FIT BECAUSE OF THEIR BEARDS.
MEMORANDUM
SUBJECT:  IRAQI USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN THE
IRAN-IRAQ WAR
1. MORE THAN 10,000 CASUALTIES--INCLUDING THOUSANDS OF
FATALITIES--MAY HAVE RESULTED FROM IRAQ'S USE OF CHEMICAL
WEAPONS IN THE WAR WITH IRAN.
2.  IRAQ'S CW EFFECTIVENESS IMPROVED DURING THE COURSE
OF THE WAR. IRAQ'S INITIAL USE OF CW--FROM 1983 THROUGH
EARLY 1986--OFTEN WAS INEFFECTIVE, GENERALLY AS A RESULT OF
POOR TECHNIQUES. FOR EXAMPLE, THE IRAQIS USED AGENTS UNDER
UNSUITABLE WEATHER CONDITIONS, WHEN WIND CARRIED AGENT
TOWARD THEIR OWN TROOPS. IRAQI PILOTS OFTEN RELEASED
CHEMICAL MUNITIONS FROM ALTITUDES TOO HIGH TO PERMIT
ACCURATE, CONCENTRATED STRIKES. FROM LATE 1986 TO EARLY
1988, IRAQ USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS PREEMPTIVELY AGAINST
STAGING AREAS PRIOR TO IRANIAN OFFENSIVES, WHILE CONTINUING
ALSO TO RELY ON THEM TO DISRUPT THE OFFENSIVES. IN 1988,
IRAQ BEGAN TO FULLY INTEGRATE CW INTO ITS SUCCESSFUL
BATTLEFIELD TACTICS, USING MASSED NERVE AGENT STRIKES AS AN
INTEGRAL PART OF OFFENSIVES.
5. IRAQ'S USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS WAS EFFECTIVE
PRIMARILY BECAUSE THE IRANIANS WERE NOT ADEQUATELY PREPARED
OR TRAINED TO FIGHT IN A CHEMICAL ENVIRONMENT. MANY
IRANIANS LACKED PROTECTIVE MASKS, AND MANY OTHERS WHO HAD
MASKS COULD NOT OBTAIN A PROPER FIT BECAUSE OF THEIR BEARDS.
IRAQ'S CHEMICAL WEAPONS SHOULD BE LESS EFFECTIVE AGAINST US
TROOPS--WHO HAVE TRAINED EXTENSIVELY FOR OPERATIONS IN A
CONTAMINATED ENVIRONMENT--THAN THEY WERE AGAINST THE
RELATIVELY UNPREPARED IRANIANS .
6. IN GENERAL, THE NUMBER OF CASUALTIES FROM A
CHEMICAL ATTACK DEPENDS ON THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN THE
CONTAMINATED AREA, DEGREE OF PROTECTION, WEATHER CONDITIONS,
AND THE AMOUNT AND TOXICITY OF THE AGENT USED. FOR EXAMPLE,
FOUR AERIAL BOMBS--EACH FILLED WITH 100 KILOGRAMS OF THE
NONPERSISENT NERVE AGENT SARIN--WOULD CONTAMINATE AN AREA
OF ABOUT THREE SQUARE KILOMETERS.
1.5 (C)
73922:73922
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