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Iraq Chemical Warfare Essay

1245 words - 5 pages

Iraq Chemical Warfare
Iraq’s research in chemical weapons began in the 1970s; it was not until the 1980s that they would begin mass production of chemical agents. At this period of time, Iraq required a great deal of help from foreign suppliers and their imports (Al- Zaman, 2003; Gosden, 1998). Iraq did not become a visible target on the United Nations radar until 1982, when Iraq killed between 50-100 Iranian Soldiers with Nerve Agent; later more Iranian Soldiers would die due to the side effects of dehydration and heat stroke (Al- Zaman, 2003; Gosden, 1998). Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2014) defines Chemical Warfare as a “tactical warfare using incendiary mixtures, smokes, or irritant burning, poisonous, or asphyxiating gases” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2014). Iraq’s chemical warfare program gradually appeared during the earlier years with various chemical attacks on foreign and domestic adversaries.
During earlier periods, Iraq was known for acquiring, stockpiling, and having the capability of using chemical weapons such as Blister Agents (Mustard gas), Nerve Agents (Tabun, Sarin, GF, and VX), and Hydrogen Cyanide (Tucker, 2006). Again, in 1982, Iraqi would go on to use riot control agents as a method of defense against the Iranian attacks (Tucker, 2006). United Nations Secretary, General Javier Perez de Cuellar would go on record during the month of March 1986, to say that Iraq was using chemical weapons against Iran (Pike, 1998). United Nations Secretary, General Javier Perez de Cuellar sent four highly trained experts into Iran to research the capabilities of the Iraqi chemical warfare advancements (Pike, 1998).
The United Nations report stated that “Iraqi forces have used chemical warfare against Iranian forces” (Pike, 1998); the weapons used included both mustard gas and nerve agent. The report continued to confirm that the use of chemical weapons appeared to be more extensive in 1981 than in 1984 (Cordesman, 2003). Leaders in Iraq tried to fight the allegations that were brought against them when it came to deploying chemical weapons on Iranian troops. Some of the reported injuries to the Iranian troops were as follow: seriously injured, burned, and some of the Iranians had to be airlifted to European health care centers for treatment. It was estimated in July 1986 that Iraqi Chemical Warfare was accountable for approximately 10,000 fatalities (Pike, 1998). Although some exact information is missing, human rights organizations have been given credible accounts from Kurdish villagers about additional Iraqi chemical attacks against civilians. Some of the assaults happened around October 1988, very close in proximity to the Iranian and Turkish borders (Cordesman, 2003).
In 1995, Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law, Hussein Kamal told inspectors about Iraq’s Biological Weapons Program and its location (Garamone, 2003). Hussein Kamal also told inspectors that he had been leading this program since 1988 proving that Iraq had been...

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