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File: 970613_dsa11_91x_0001.txt
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SUBJECT:  NADA INTSUM 27-91/DIA WASH DC/8 JAN 91.
     


IRAQ:  CHEMICAL MUNITION.     
AS OF 4 JAN 91
))
MAJOR POINT
))
1.       IRAQ REPORTEDLY HAS CHEMICALLY FILLED ROCKET-PROPELLED-
GRENADES FOR USE AGAINST TANKS.
))
DISCUSSION
))
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 ONE REPORT, 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 CHEMICALS.  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.
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.  

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