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With all eyes firmly focused on what really matters (the oil refineries), The Telegraph reports that ISIS has over-run a Saddam Hussein-era chemical weapons (CW) complex. The al-Muhanna 'mega-facility', about 60 miles south of Baghdad, gives the jihadists access to disused stores of hundreds of tonnes of potentially deadly poisons including mustard gas and sarin. The US state department is 'concerned' but "do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value." However, as a former commander of Britain's chemical weapons regiment warned, "we have seen that ISIS has used chemicals in explosions in Iraq before and has carried out experiments in Syria." This is likely great for ISIS 2014 Annual Report; but, of course, the other awkward question is: does this mean Saddam did have WMDs (and ISIS found them) after all?
Isis invaded the al-Muthanna mega-facility 60 miles north of Baghdad in a rapid takeover that the US government said was a matter of concern. The facility was notorious in the 1980s and 1990s as the locus of Saddam’s industrial scale efforts to develop a chemical weapons development programme. Isis has shown ambitions to seize and use chemical weapons in Syria leading experts to warn last night that the group could turn to improvised weapons to carry out a deadly attack in Iraq. Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commander of Britain’s chemical weapons regiment, said that al-Muthanna has large stores of weaponized and bulk mustard gas and sarin, most of which has been put beyond ready use in concrete stores.
LOL.....nice. So we find them, make it known they are there, then leave and leave them there. Hmmm...does this wreak of a VERY planned operation in the works?
Stockpiles of chemical munitions are still stored there. The most dangerous ones have been declared to the UN and are sealed in bunkers. Although declared, the bunkers contents have yet to be confirmed. These areas of the compound pose a hazard to civilians and potential blackmarketers.
Numerous bunkers, including eleven cruciform shaped bunkers were exploited. Some of the bunkers were empty. Some of the bunkers contained large quantities of unfilled chemical munitions, conventional munitions, one-ton shipping containers, old disabled production equipment (presumed disabled under UNSCOM supervision), and other hazardous industrial chemicals. The bunkers were dual-use in storing both conventional and chemical munitions. Figure 12 is a typical side-view of a cruciform shaped bunker.
The contents of two of the cruciform bunkers bombed during Desert Storm showed severe damage. Due to the hazards associated with this location, the UN decided to seal the bunkers.
UNSCOM viewed the contents of the two bunkers; however an accurate inventory was not possible due to the hazards associated with that environment.
After 1994, CW production related activities ceased at the Primary Al Muthanna site that once was Project 922 (Samarra’ Chemical Weapons Production and Storage Complex).A small security detail remained. Two sealed cruciform bunkers containing the largest declared stockpile of chemical munitions, old bulk chemical agent, and hazardous material associated with the CW program remained. The surrounding area at the facility became a refuse area or junkyard for relics of Iraq’s past CW weapons program.
The Iraqis razed and removed all existing structures for the biological/toxicological lab, mustard research lab, and Sarin production facility. In addition to complete removal of the facilities, complete foundations were excavated and removed. These actions were undertaken after the National Monitoring Directorate was displaced in Iraq and completed without international scrutiny.
The Tabun Production Facility was razed in a similar fashion to the other nerve agent production facilities in that all remnants of the existing facility were removed to include foundations and surrounding top layers of soil. Portions of the VX Production Facility were filled with sand. The facility was not razed by the Iraqis, however all equipment were removed (see Figure 10).
originally posted by: JHumm
If there are WMDs there. My guess is that the us put them there recently to get the war machine turning again.
originally posted by: watchitburn
Of course there were chemical weapons there. I've been telling people that since we started finding IEDs using Mustard rounds. There weren't many, but they were most definitely there.
But this is an awkward turn of events, maybe we'll get some kind of half assed explanation this time.