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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

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SUBJECT: Extract from VII Corps Report

"The decision when and where to use chemical weapons comes from the highest level of the government."

-- Artillery Forward Observer, Tawakalna Mech Inf Div

. ~ Several senior Iraqi officers stated chemical munitions would not be used against Coalition forces out of fear of large scale retaliatory strikes by Coalition forces.88 Others believed that the Iraqis did not employ chemical munitions because their own forces were severely under-equipped to survive or operate in a chemical environment.89 Some sources argue that the Iraqi artillery and indirect fire systems were so severely attrited by G-day that they could not coordinate or come close to massing their artillery fire to achieve any significant

8 7 Ibid .

[b.2.]

Iraqi division level artillery units are capable of delivering chemical munitions. However, the commander has no authority to use them. Employment of chemical munitions are monitored by an officer from the Special transportation unit.

89Ibid. Several Iraqi PWs captured did not possess protective masks or any type of chemical protective garments. Some Iraqi soldiers hid what little food and/or personal belongings they had in their empty mask carriers.

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"Iraqi doctrine states that if a chemical round is received, it must be fired that same day."

-- Staff officer, (b.6.) Inf Div

f. ___ Iraq's non-use of chemicals. The Iraqis possess many chemical delivery systems, including aircraft sprayers, bombs and missiles, multiple rocket launchers, artillery (from 122mm and larger)and possible mortars and RPG-7 rockets. However, no chemical weapons were used in the KTO and no chemical rounds were found in captured munitions stockpiles. There are several possible explanations for this, the most likely being Baghdad's fear of US and multinational Coalition forces retaliation for the use of chemical weapons. Interrogations of senior Iraqi officers revealed they "...were unanimous in their assertion that there was no intent to employ chemicals, and that there were no chemical munitions issued to their divisions. Most believed that Saddam Hussein recognized that President Bush would react in a manner unacceptable to Iraq if it employed chemicals. None of the commanders expressed any misgivings about their inability to employ chemicals; most regarded them as a bigger threat to (their own) poorly equipped Iraqi soldiers." 122

The Iraqi commanders' fear for their own poorly equipped troops is well founded. Many Iraqi soldiers only had masks, but no protective overgarments 126 and there were complaints about the poor condition of decontamination kits. 127 Many mask filters hadn't been changed in years and several units reported that their vehicles' chemical filtration systems were broken. 128

~ Some US and Allied intelligence officers speculate that even if the enemy had chemicals and permission to use them, its lack of targeting intelligence and its degraded fire control systems would have prevented the massing of chemical fires on rapidly moving Coalition units.129




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