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File: 970613_dsa11_91_txt_0001.txt
Page: 0001
Total Pages: 1

[b.2.]



SERIAL:  DSA 11-91

SUBJECT:  IRAQ:  CHEMICAL MUNITION
          
DOI:  4 JAN 91
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MAJOR POINT
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1.          IRAQ REPORTEDLY HAS CHEMICALLY FILLED ROCKET-PROPELLED-
GRENADES FOR USE AGAINST TANKS.
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DISCUSSION
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2.          THE MUNITIONS ARE PROBABLY FOR THE SHOULDER-FIRED,
SOVIET-DESIGNED RPG ROCKET LAUNCHER.  THOSE ROUNDS EMIT A CLOUD OF
GAS OR DUST THAT ENVELOPS OR PENETRATES THE TANK AND THREATENS THE
CREW.  CHEMICAL ROCKETS REPORTEDLY HAVE A FAILURE RATE OF ABOUT 25
PERCENT, BUT THOSE THAT FUNCTION PROPERLY ARE NORMALLY EFFECTIVE.
THE CHEMICAL MUNITIONS HAVE LESS PENETRATING POWER THAN HIGH-
EXPLOSIVE ROUNDS.  ACCORDING TO THE SOURCE, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
THE EFFECTS OF THE CHEMICAL MUNITION AND THOSE OF A CONVENTIONAL
ROCKET WAS EVIDENT FROM DISTANCES OF 50 METERS OR MORE FROM THE
TARGET.  THE ROUNDS ARE REPORTEDLY STORED AT A DEPOT NEAR AL
FALLUJAH.
3.          THESE ROUNDS MAY HAVE BEEN FILLED WITH A BLOOD AGENT,
SUCH AS CYANOGEN BROMIDE OR CYANOGEN CHLORIDE.  PREVIOUS REPORTING
SUGGESTED THAT IRAQ HAS BEEN INTERESTED IN CYANIDE CHEM1CALS.  THE
DUST MENTIONED IN THE REPORT COULD BE CYANOGEN BROMIDE, WHICH IS A
SOLID AT NORMAL TEMPERATURES.  THIS CHEMICAL IS CORROSIVE AND COULD
HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE FAILURE RATE OF THE MUNITIONS THAT THE
SOURCE MENTIONED.
4.          WHETHER THE ROUND PENETRATED THE TANK ARMOR AND
RELEASED
AGENT INSIDE THE TANK OR INFILTRATED THE TANK'S INTERIOR IS
UNCLEAR.
THE USE OF CHEMICALLY FILLED RPG ROUNDS, HOWEVER, WAS MOST LIKELY
PART OF A TESTING PROGRAM.  THE THEORY IS TECHNICALLY FEASIBLE, AND
IRAQ MAY HAVE TRIED TO EXPERIMENT WITH THESE ROUNDS IN A COMBAT
SITUATION TO DETERMINE THEIR RELIABILITY AND SUITABILITY.  EVEN SO,
OTHER EVIDENCE SUGGESTS THAT THESE MUNITIONS ARE NOT GENERALLY
AVAILABLE TO IRAQI GROUND FORCE UNITS.

[b.2., b.6.]
.

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