Our extensive research determined a laser-guided bomb delivered by an F-117 definitely penetrated Bunker 2 at Al Muthanna during an air raid at 2:30 AM on February 8, 1991. Gun camera photography confirms this assessment. Although the external damage to Bunker 2 appears minor, Iraq reported that an intensive fire destroyed everything inside the bunker and consumed all the rockets and associated packing materials. UNSCOM photography confirms that an intensive fire destroyed the bunker contents.
It is unlikely more than 1,500 122mm rockets were in Bunker 2 when it was destroyed. UNSCOM inspectors estimated that not more than 1,500 rockets, and as few as 1,000 122mm rockets of various types were in the bunker at that time. The CIA determined it was likely Iraq had filled the warheads of the rockets stored in Bunker 2 with the nerve agent sarin during the war with Iran, which ended in 1988. According to CIAs assessment, the chemical warfare agent in the rockets stored at Al Muthanna had deteriorated to approximately 18 percent purity by the February 8, 1991, air strike, leaving about 1,600 kilograms (1.6 metric tons) of viable agent.
High temperatures in the Bunker 2 fire destroyed most of the sarin before it could be expelled from the bunker. The CIA estimates a near-instantaneous release of 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of sarin occurred after which, the CIA believes, high temperatures from the resulting fire decomposed the remaining sarin before it escaped from the bunker.
Our modeling results show the hazard area from the possible chemical warfare agent release reached neither Baghdad, approximately 70 kilometers (43 miles) to the southeast of Al Muthanna, nor the nearest US forces, located 388 kilometers (241 miles) from the nearest edge of the potential hazard area.
Because of the small amount of agent released, the limited extent of the potential hazard area, and the distance to US forces, we assess US soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen definitely were not exposed to a chemical warfare agent hazard resulting from the destruction of Bunker 2 at Al Muthanna on February 8, 1991.
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