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File: 062596_cia_63704_63704_01.txt
Page: 01
Total Pages: 1

Subject: CW USE IN IRAN-IRAQ WAR

Not Finally Evaluated Intelligence







TO FACILITATE ELECTRONIC ACCESS, THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN

REFORMATTED TO ELIMINATE INFORMATION THAT DOES NOT PERTAIN

TO GULF WAR ILLNESS ISSUES OR THAT IS CLASSIFIED. A COPY OF

THIS REDACTED DOCUMENT, IN ORIGINAL FORMAT, IS AVAILABLE ON

REQUEST.







COUNTRY:  IRAQ/IRAN

SUBJ:  IRAQI STRATEGY AND TACTICS IN THE USE OF CHEMICAL

WEAPONS DURING THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR

DOI:  1986-1988







DURING THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR, IRAQI FORCES

APPEARED TO HAVE NO SOPHISTICATED STRATEGIC OR TACTICAL PLAN FOR

THE EMPLOYMENT OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS SYSTEMS. THE IRAQIS DID

EMPLOY CHEMICAL WEAPONS UNDER TWO TYPES OF CIRCUMSTANCES: TO

REPEL IRANIAN FORCES AFTER IRGC UNITS HAD MADE IMPORTANT

ADVANCES AGAINST IRAQI FORCES OR INTO IRAQI TERRITORY, AND TO

PREPARE AN AREA FOR AN IRAQI OFFENSIVE. BY THE END OF THE WAR,

IRAQ USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS FREQUENTLY, AND IRAQ'S USE OF

CHEMICAL WEAPONS WAS LIMITED ONLY BY WIND AND WEATHER CONDITIONS

AND THE ABILITY TO DELIVER CHEMICAL MUNITIONS ON TARGET.

2. AFTER IRAN HAD CAPTURED TERRAIN OR APPEARED TO BE MAKING

AN IMPORTANT ADVANCE IRAQ WOULD SATURATE THE AREA WITH CHEMICAL

MUNITIONS. THIS WAS DONE WITH LITTLE APPARENT REGARD FOR THE

SAFETY OF IRAQ'S OWN TROOPS WHO WERE IN OR NEAR THE CHEMICALLY

CONTAMINATED AREA. FOLLOWING A CHEMICAL ATTACK, IRAQ NORMALLY

INITIATED IMMEDIATE CONVENTIONAL OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS TO RETAKE

CAPTURED AREAS.

3. SIMILARLY, IRAQI OFFENSIVES WERE FREQUENTLY PRECEDED BY

AN IRAQI CHEMICAL ATTACK IN THE AREA TO BE ASSAULTED BY IRAQI

FORCES. THE PURPOSE, WOULD BE TO "SOFTEN" THE AREA FOR A

CONVENTIONAL ATTACK WHICH WOULD FOLLOW SHORTLY AFTER THE INITIAL

CHEMICAL PREPARATION. FOLLOWING THE CHEMICAL ATTACK, IRAQI

FORCES WOULD WAIT FOR FAVORABLE WIND CONDITIONS AND FOR THE

EFFECTS OF CHEMICAL AGENTS TO DIMINISH BEFORE MOVING INTO A

CHEMICAL CONTAMINATED AREA. USUALLY A PERIOD OF BETWEEN 30

MINUTES AND ONE HOUR WAS NEEDED BEFORE A CHEMICAL CONTAMINATED

AREA BECAME SAFE FOR IRAQI FORCES TO ENTER. IRAQI FORCES WERE

WELL EQUIPPED WITH BOTH PROTECTIVE MASKS AND CHEMICAL PROTECTIVE

OVERGARMENTS.          TO TAKE NOTHING

AWAY FROM THE RUTHLESSNESS OF THE IRAQIS,

IRAQ'S RELATIVE DISREGARD FOR THE SAFETY OF ITS

OWN TROOPS IN THE USE OF CHEMICAL MUNITIONS MAY HAVE BEEN PARTLY

BASED ON IRAQ'S ASSUMPTION THAT ITS OWN UNITS WOULD BE ABLE TO

DON PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT WHICH WOULD PROTECT THEM FROM THE

EFFECTS OF TOXIC CHEMICAL AGENTS. REGARDLESS OF IRAQ'S

RATIONALE, LARGE NUMBERS OF IRAQ'S OWN TROOPS WERE KILLED OR

INJURED DURING IRAQI CHEMICAL ATTACKS.

4. THE PRINCIPAL LIMITATIONS TO IRAQ'S USE OF CHEMICAL

WEAPONS SYSTEMS IN A GIVEN BATTLEFIELD SITUATION WERE

UNFAVORABLE WIND AND WEATHER CONDITIONS AND IRAQ'S ABILITY TO

DELIVER CHEMICAL MUNITIONS ON TARGET. IRAQ USED CHEMICAL

WEAPONS DURING ALL SEASONS OF THE YEAR. THE ONLY WEATHER

CONDITION WHICH PREVENTED IRAQ FROM USING CHEMICAL WEAPONS WAS

RAIN WHICH DISSIPATED THE EFFECT OF THE CHEMICAL AGENTS, BUT WAS

UNUSUAL IN THE ARID REGION WHERE MUCH OF THE WAR WAS FOUGHT. IF

IRAQI VILLAGES OR FORCES LAY IN THE DIRECTION OF THE WIND AND

COULD BE EFFECTED BY AN IRAQI ATTACK ON A NEARBY AREA, IRAQI

FORCES WOULD WAIT FOR THE WIND TO DIMINISH OR CHANGE DIRECTION

BEFORE LAUNCHING A CHEMICAL ATTACK.

5. IRAQ USED MORTARS, ARTILLERY, HELICOPTERS AND FIXED-WING

AIRCRAFT TO DELIVER CHEMICAL MUNITIONS. ONE LIMITATION ON

IRAQ'S USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS WAS THE DISTANCE OF ATTACKING

IRAQI FORCES FROM AREAS TO BE ATTACKED AND WHETHER THOSE UNITS

POSSESSED THE EQUIPMENT NECESSARY TO DELIVER CHEMICAL

MUNITIONS. FOR EXAMPLE, IF IRANIAN FORCES WERE OUT OF MORTAR

RANGE AND ARTILLERY WAS UNAVAILABLE, IRAQI FORCES WERE UNABLE TO

USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS.

6.          WHEN IRAQ FIRST BEGAN

USING CHEMICAL WEAPONS SYSTEMS CIRCA 1985-1986, THEIR USE WAS

UNUSUAL AND SPORADIC. GRADUALLY, CHEMICAL WEAPONS WERE USED

MORE OFTEN AND BY THE END OF THE WAR CHEMICAL WEAPONS WERE USED

COMMONLY. DURING THE LATTER STAGES OF THE WAR, IRAQ APPARENTLY

USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS WHENEVER IT WAS CONSIDERED TACTICALLY

APPROPRIATE          IRAQ WAS

NOT AT ALL CONSTRAINED IN ITS USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, AND THE

FACT THAT THE USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS VIOLATED INTERNATIONAL

NORMS WAS NOT A FACTOR IN IRAQ'S BATTLEFIELD DECISION MAKING

PROCESS TO EMPLOY THEM.







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