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File: 970613_dsa181a_91d_txt_0001.txt
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(b.2.)


SERIAL:  DSA 181A-91

/*********** THIS IS A COMBINED MESSAGE ************
SUBJECT: IRAQ-KUWAIT: SITUATION UPDATE

DOI:  23 FEB 91 (AS OF 0930 EST)

(b.1. sec. 1.5.c.)

                                                                                        INDICATES THAT IRAQ HAS A NUMBER OF COMBAT AIRCRAFT CONFIGURED FOR
SUICIDE CHEMICAL ATTACKS AGAINST COALITION FORCES AND, POSSIBLY,
ISRAEL.  (b.1. sec. 1.5.c.)                                                                       IRAQ'S
DEMONSTRATED ABILITY TO DELIVER CHEMICAL MUNITIONS WITH FIXED AND
ROTARY WING AIRCRAFT, COUPLED WITH THE DETERIORAT1NG SITUATION IN
KUWAIT, MAKES SUCH AN ATTACK AGAINST COALITION FORCES A DISTINCT
POSSIBILITY.
(b.1. sec. 1.5.c.)
8.                    MISSILE/CHEMICAL ACTIVITY.      (b.1. sec. 1.5.c.)  23 FEBRUARY, TWO
MODIFIED SCUDS WERE LAUNCHED (b.1. sec. 1.5.c.)                WITH
ONE POSSIBLY IMPACTING (b.1. sec. 1.5.a., c.)NORTHWEST OF DHAHRAN AND THE OTHER
BREAKING UP                IN-FLIGHT                     THERE IS NO
INFORMATION REGARDING PATR1OT INTERCEPTS OR DAMAGE.
9.  (S)  IRAQI SHORT RANGE BALLISTIC MISSILES (SRBM) ARE LIKELY TO
CONTINUE PLAYING A HIGHLY VISIBLE BUT RELATIVELY INEFFECTIVE ROLE AS
THE GULF WAR MOVES TOWARD A GROUND CAMPAIGN.  THE 78 SCUD-VARIANT
SRBMS FIRED TO DATE AGAINST TARGETS IN ISRAEL, SAUDI ARABIA, AND
BAHRAIN HAVE INFLICTED MINIMAL CASUALTIES AND PROPERTY DAMAGE.
(b.1. sec. 1.5.c.)

10.      BAGHDAD'S LACK OF SUCCESS WITH ITS SRBM FORCE IS
ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE SMALL WARHEAD SIZE, INACCURACY AT EXTENDED
RANGES, AND SUCCESS OF PATRIOT AIR DEFENSE MISSILES.  THE FIRST TWO
REPRESENT DESIGN SHORTCOMINGS APPARENTLY INHERENT IN THE
MODIFICATIONS REQUIRED TO EXTEND THE RANGE OF THE SCUD B'S 300
KILOMETERS TO AROUND 600 KILOMETERS FOR AN AL ABBAS.  ALL THREE
FACTORS LACK 'QUICK FIX' TECHNICAL CORRECTION, INDICATING THAT IRAQ
HAS LITTLE PROSPECT FOR IMPROVED RESULTS FROM ITS SRBMS.  THE
SUBSTITUTION OF CHEMICAL OR BIOLOGICAL WARHEADS FOR CONVENTIONAL
HIGH EXPLOSIVES MAY NOT BE AN OPTION; THERE ARE INDICATIONS THAT
NON-CONVENTIONAL WARHEADS ARE STILL IN THE DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE,
PLAGUED WITH TECHNICAL PROBLEMS, AND NOT AVAILABLE OPERATIONALLY.
HOWEVER, IN THE FACE OF A COALITION-INITIATED GROUND WAR, BAGHDAD
MAY BE TEMPTED TO LAUNCH NON-CONVENTIONAL ATTACKS WITH WHATEVER
WARHEADS ARE AVAILABLE.

(b.1. sec. 1.5.c.)

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