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WMD Traces Found In Iraq

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TxCoUnTrYbOy

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just said on the news they found artillery shells filled with Sarin, which is a deadly biological agent. they did not say where it was found, but it is a weapon that Saddam said was destroyed. now for the bad news. there are many soldiers that may have been exposed to the chemical, which there is a 75% chance it will kill them. dont know if they used any of these artillery shells on US troops or if they were hidden. either way, the soldiers exposed have my prayers, along with their families.
 
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TxCoUnTrYbOy

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here is an official article

From MSNBC.com:

Bomb containing deadly sarin explodes in Iraq

MSNBC staff and news service reports
Updated: 1:27 p.m. ET May 17, 2004BAGHDAD, Iraq - A roadside bomb containing sarin exploded after it was discovered by U.S. soldiers in Iraq, releasing a “small quantity” of the deadly nerve agent but causing no casualties, a U.S. military spokesman said Monday.

Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said at a briefing in Baghdad that the bomb exploded "a couple of days ago" in the Iraqi capital and resulted in "very small dispersal" of the nerve agent.

"The Iraqi Survey Group confirmed today that a 155-millimeter artillery round containing sarin nerve agent had been found," said Kimmitt, the chief military spokesman in Iraq. "The round had been rigged as an IED (improvised explosive device) which was discovered by a U.S. force convoy.

"A detonation occurred before the IED could be rendered inoperable," he said.

U.S. soldiers who later transported the round did experience symptoms consistent with low-level nerve agent exposure, said a U.S. official speaking on the condition of anonymity. But in this case, it appears two components in the shell, which are designed to combine and create deadly sarin, did not mix upon detonation, the official said.

U.S. officials said Monday they are concerned that other sarin-filled munitions may still exist in Iraq — and may not be well marked. They're also concerned that, because Saddam’s government never declared that any sarin or sarin-filled shells still remained the discovery of the sarin shell as significant, the U.S. official said.

Because the old "binary-type" artillery shell requires the mixing of two chemical components in separate sections of the cell to produce the sarin, it is likely that the insurgents who rigged it as a roadside bomb were unaware that it contained chemicals for producing the nerve agent rather than explosives, Kimmitt said.

Use in roadside bomb called ‘virtually ineffective’

"The cell is designed to work after being fired from an artillery piece," he said, adding that dispersing the substance from a device such as the homemade bomb "is virtually ineffective as a chemical weapon."

He said two U.S. soldiers were treated for exposure to the gas as a result of what he called a “partial detonation” of the round that resulted in "very small dispersal" of the nerve agent.

The source of the sarin was not immediately clear.

"I’ll leave it up to the (Iraqi) Survey Group to determine" where it came from, Kimmitt said, referring to the group leading the search for weapons of mass destruction that the United States said Saddam Hussein possessed.

Iraq had the deadly nerve agent in its stockpile but had declared its arsenal destroyed after the Gulf War.

But David Kay, the former chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq, said the discovery does not provide evidence that Saddam was secretly producing weapons of mass destruction after the Gulf War, as alleged by the Bush administration to justify the war that removed him from power.

"I think all of us have known that because of the sheer volume of artillery (containing agents like sarin that were in the Iraqi arsenal prior to the Gulf War) ... that there were likely to be some of these still around Iraq," he told MSNBC TV. "But (the discovery) doesn't speak to the issue of whether weapons of mass destruction were still being produced in Iraq in the mid-1990s."

In 1995, Japan's Aum Shinrikyo cult unleashed sarin gas in Tokyo's subways, killing 12 people and sickening thousands. In February of this year, Japanese courts convicted the cult's former leader, Shoko Asahara, and sentence him to be executed.

Developed in the mid-1930s by Nazi scientists, a single drop of sarin can cause a quick, agonizing choking death. There are no known instances of the Nazis actually using the gas.

Nerve gases work by inhibiting key enzymes in the nervous system, blocking their transmission. Small exposures can be treated with antidotes, if administered quickly.

Antidotes to nerve gases similar to sarin are so effective that top poison gas researchers predict they eventually will cease to be a war threat.

MSNBC.com's Mike Brunker, the Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
 

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