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Medical Capabilities Study Republic of Iraq (C)

Filename:01810545.691
Subject: Medical Capabilities Study Republic of Iraq (C)

A Defense S&T Intelligence Study

Defense Intelligence Agency 
Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center





KEY JUDGMENTS

Medical Capabilities Study - Republic of Iraq 

The topography of Iraq is characterized by broad plains covering 
about 90 percent of the country, rugged highlands in the 
northeast, and numerous lakes and marshlands along the Tigris and 
Euphrates Rivers. The wet areas provide ideal habitats for many 
disease vectors and are a considerable obstacle to vehicular 
movement, thus complicating the provision of medical care. Large 
areas of the marshlands are only accessible by boat.

The climate generally is hot and dry throughout the summer with 
wet, mild to cool winters. Mean annual rainfall is 10 to 17 
centimeters. Mean daily temperatures range from about 38 to 43�C 
in summer and from 13 to 24 C in winter. Dust storms and 
sandstorms occur occasionally and may promote or aggravate 
respiratory and ophthalmic ailments.

The standard of living in Iraq is among the lowest in the Middle 
East. Migration to urban areas has taxed medical facilities and 
utilities. More than one-half of the population of Iraq receives 
water from open, polluted water sources. Water in Baghdad is 
treated, but pollution occurs during distribution; therefore, 
water should be treated prior to consumption. Government 
inspection and sanitary standards for food are lax.

Diseases with the highest short-term (less than 15 days) impact on 
military operations include diarrheal diseases, enteric protozoal 
diseases, sandfly fever, typhoid and paratyphoid fevers, malaria, 
meningococcal meningitis, arboviral fevers, sexually transmitted 
diseases (STDs), acute respiratory infections, and cholera. 
Diseases with incubation periods generally longer than 15 days 
include viral hepatitis, leishmaniasis, and schistosomiasis. Other 
diseases endemic to the indigenous population include zoonoses, 
vectorborne diseases, and other infectious diseases (trachoma, 
intestinal helminthic infections, and tuberculosis). Among the 
indigenous population, malnutrition is a major problem, especially 
among children.

[   (b)(1) sec 1.3(a)(4)   ]











Iraq has an offensive chemical and biological warfare (CBW) 
capability, but has little CBW medical defensive capability.

In addition to the key judgments provided above, the following 
summarizes key medical intelligence as of mid-January 1991 in 
support of Desert Shield/Desert Storm operations:

Iraqi forces in the Kuwaiti theater of operations are experiencing 
significant medical problems (diarrhea, skin disease, heat stroke, 
malnutrition, and dehydration) as the result of poorly distributed 
and supported forward medical assets, inadequate rations of food 
and water, and deplorable sanitary conditions.

[   (b)(1) sec 1.3(a)(4)   ]







SECTION I
Environmental Health Factors

Topography

The terrain in the Republic of Iraq consists primarily of broad 
plains (covering about 90 percent of the country), a small area of 
rugged highlands in the northeast, and numerous lakes and marshes 
along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers (primarily from Baghdad to 
the Persian Gulf). The marshlands and areas along the rivers are 
subject to seasonal flooding and provide breeding sites for 
various disease vectors, including mosquitoes and the snail hosts 
of schistosomiasis. Contamination of water supplies by flooding 
increases the spread of water-borne diseases. The southwestern and 
southern part of the country are desert areas. The northeastern 
medical highlands near the borders with Turkey and Iran range from 
hills to barren serrated mountain summits rising more than 3,650 
meters in elevation. In most areas, helicopters would be required 
for patient evacuation. Damaging earthquakes occur in the north-
eastern two-thirds of the country, but they are not common. Minor 
seismic activity is more common; damage to medical facilities 
could result from landslides in the northeastern highlands.  

Climate

Iraq has very dry, extremely hot, nearly cloudless summers (May 
through October) and mild to cool, moderately cloudy winters 
(December through March). About 65 percent of the annual 
precipitation occurs in winter. Temperatures as high as 49�C and 
as low as -11�C have been recorded (Table 1). The hot, dry climate 
contributes to heat injuries. During winter, freezing temperatures 
occur in the northeastern highlands. Occasional dust storms and 
sandstorms, which occur more frequently in summer, increase the 
incidence of respiratory and ophthalmic diseases. Dust and sand 
penetrate equipment, and can render it inoperable in a short time. 
The "shamal,"a strong, hot, persistent northwest wind, occurs most 
often in summer and frequently is accompanied by dust storms, 
especially in the southern part of the country. Dust storms would 
hamper air support for evacuation missions.

Cultural Factors

The standard of living in Iraq is among the lowest in the Middle 
East. The movement of large numbers of rural migrants to the 
cities has over taxed available housing, increased the number of 
slum areas, placed further demands on already inadequate medical 
facilities, and overburdened available health care personnel. 
Huts, constructed on vacant lots by the migrants, house an average 
of six persons in a single room. Lacking sufficient water, sewage 
disposal, and sanitary facilities, such quarters represent a major 
health hazard for the inhabitants and the community alike. These 
overcrowded and unsanitary living conditions significantly 
contribute to the transmission of communicable diseases. 

Table I
Climatic Data
					Baghdad
TEMPERATURE	Jan	Feb	Mar	Apr	May	Jun	Jul	Aug	Sep	Oct
	Nov	Dec
Mean daily maximum (-C)	15	18	23	28	34	40	43	43
	39	33	24	17
Mean daily minimum ( C)	3	6	9	14	20	24	27	26
	22	17	11	7
PRECIPITATION
Mean total (mm)	23	23	23	15	10	<1	<1	<1	<1	3
	20	25

FIRST LIGHT	0640	0622	0549	0508	0436	0424	0435	0458	0521	0542
	0607	0631
LAST LIGHT	1744	1812	1835	1858	1922	1942	1941	1915	1835	1755	1727
	1724
(Mean civil twilight, local standard time)


Housing in the rural areas consists principally of tents and mud-
and-reed huts. Nomads live in tents and are not exposed to the 
diseases which are widespread in the urban areas; however, their 
personal hygiene practices are poor, and they rely on tribal 
remedies for illnesses and injuries. Communal use of eating and 
drinking utensils is practiced throughout the country, further 
promoting the spread of gastroenteric diseases. Livestock live 
with or close to humans, a situation which promotes the 
transmission of zoonotic diseases.

Iraqis in rural areas traditionally have regarded illness as a 
manifestation of divine will or as the work of evil spirits. 
Suffering from illness and injury is endured as an inevitable and 
normal condition rather than a temporary suspension of good 
health. Villagers rarely seek medical treatment if they are able 
to follow a regular daily work routine. Hospitals are regarded as 
places of suffering and death and are entered only as a last 
resort. Villagers usually go to a local "holy man," known for his 
wisdom and piety, or to a bonesetter. Belief in the curative 
qualities of charms and amulets is nearly universal. Charms and 
amulets are used to ward off malevolent spirits and provide 
protection against the "evileye," believed to be the principal 
cause of disease. Special therapeutic powers are ascribed to mud 
and dust gathered from holy places. Mud is caked and applied over 
wounds; dust scraped from the mud cakes is mixed with water and 
taken for internal ailments. Cauterization is widely used by 
traditional practitioners to treat pain, tumors, and sprains, and 
to stop hemorrhages. A burning rag is used to make small circular 
or cross-shaped scars on the site of the affliction. The meat of 
roasted hedgehogs is fed to children to cure their diseases and to 
expectant mothers to cure ailments accompanying pregnancy. Typhoid 
and malaria are treated with various herb teas. Water pipes, 
sometimes containing medicinal herbs, are smoked for treatment of 
syphilis. Persons bitten by snakes are treated with human or snake 
saliva mixed with sugar.  Measles are treated by wrapping the 
individual in a loose red gown.

In Iraq, 97 percent of the population is Muslim (60 percent Shia 
and 37 percent Sunni), and 3 percent is Christian or other 
religions. There are no religions objections to surgery or the 
destruction of animal vectors of disease, but there are religious 
objections to postmortems. The reluctance to donate blood, even to 
save the life of a relative, is based on superstition rather than 
religious objection.

Sanitation

Water-- More than one-half of the population of Iraq receives its 
water from rivers, reservoirs, irrigation canals, drainage 
ditches, and open wells.  These sources are polluted by human and 
animal wastes, washing, bathing, and watering animals. The 
incidence of some infectious diseases is directly attributable to 
these unsanitary practices. The remainder of the population is 
served by piped water systems in urban areas and by itinerant 
water vendors in small towns and villages. Water carried in tin or 
skin containers is contaminated by the time it reaches the 
consumer. Some major waterways, especially the broad, shallow 
Shatt al Arab (the joining point of the Tigris and Euphrates 
Rivers), have favorable breeding conditions for the mosquito 
vectors of malaria. Periodic flooding of rivers contaminates water 
supplies and causes an increase in the incidence of disease. The 
use of known poisons and toxins to control fungi on foodstuffs and 
to control insects in residential areas also contributes to 
pollution.  

The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and their tributaries serve as 
water sources for Baghdad and some major provincial towns. Irbil 
and As Sulaymaniyah, located in the northern mountains, have 
adequate supplies of spring water. In Al Basrah, Mosul, and 
Karkuk, the water is stored in elevated tanks and is chemically 
treated before distribution. In Baghdad, the water is filtered, 
chlorinated, and piped into homes or to communal fountains located 
throughout the city. Due to widespread contamination during 
delivery and storage, all water, even treated water, should be 
considered nonpotable and subject to reliable testing prior to 
consumption.

Water quality is becoming a severe problem in the Shatt al  Arab 
River, which supplies water to the capital city of Baghdad and the 
southern city of Al Basrah.  Further complicating Iraq's water 
problems is Turkey's plan to divert major portions of the 
Euphrates River at its source in Turkey for a massive 
hydroelectric and agricultural project.

Food-- Sanitary precautions and practices in food storage, 
handling, and preparation are inadequate. Perishable foods are 
exposed to sun and insects. Most meat preparation takes place 
outside of the slaughterhouses, usually in unsanitary 
surroundings. Night soil is used for fertilizer. Grains often are 
mixed with dirt, and facilities are not available for cleaning. 
Failure to clean and unsanitary handling of fruits and vegetables 
before marketing preclude the safe consumption of these items. 
Picking, sorting, and packing of dates are carried out without 
proper sanitary inspection, and dates are not washed to remove 
insecticides. Fresh fish are displayed for sale in the open, where 
they are handled by shoppers;	stale fish also are sold. 
Enforcement of sanitary standards is hindered by a shortage of 
trained inspectors and lack of public concern.

Sewage/Waste Disposal-- Modern sewage and waste disposal systems 
are installed only in Iraq's larger cities. The remainder of the 
country relies on cesspools, pit privies, septic tanks, and other 
 unsophisticated disposal methods. Cesspools and septic tanks are 
common in many urban areas, including larger cities. Cesspools and 
septic tanks are emptied periodically by contractors and their 
contents are dumped at city outskirts or used as fertilizer.  
Public buildings have toilet facilities, but the septic tanks 
which serve them often empty into nearby canals, causing pollution 
and creating a serious health hazard. A survey conducted in 
commercial and residential sections of Al Basrah, for example, 
revealed considerable rodent infestation, caused primarily by the 
disposal of waste into canals through unscreened pipes.   Waste 
disposal facilities in rural areas are nearly nonexistent.  Pit 
privies are used in some small towns and villages, but their use 
is not widespread and maintenance is poor. Indiscriminate 
defecation and dumping of garbage are common practices. Animal 
dung is a common source of fuel.

Substance Abuse

Hashish (marijuana), heroin, and opium are the principal drugs 
abused in Iraq. The government considers drug addiction a minor 
problem because of the small number of addicts in the country. 
Alcoholism, although not a major problem, occurs. The Medical 
(Center for the Treatment of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence has 
been established as a unit of the Ibn Rashid Hospital for 
Psychiatric Medicine. National health regulations allow both 
voluntary and involuntary admission to this facility as well as to 
other health care establishments throughout the country that are 
capable of dealing with alcoholism and drug dependence.


Invertebrates and Vertebrates

Tables II and III list poisonous invertebrates and vertebrates in 
Iraq.

Table II
Poisonous Invertebrates

Common Name/Scientific Name	
Distribution/Behavior	
Medical Importance/Antivenin Availability

Centipedes
(Scolopendra spp.)	
Both S. morsirans and S. subspinipes are found in tropical and 
subtropical regions.  S. valida has been specifically reported in 
the Mediterranean region, north and east Africa, and west Asia and 
should be expected in Iraq. All are essentially nocturnal, lying 
concealed during the day in holes in the ground, under stones, 
bark, logs, and fallen leaves. Their instinct when emerging into 
daylight is to escape to the dark.

Human deaths after Scolopendra envenomation are rare and the data 
for fatalities appear weak against exact analysis. Venom generally 
produces only local effects (burning, swelling, and necrosis) 
without serious consequences.  Greatest threat is to infants and 
children. No antivenin is available.

Scorpions	
(Androctonus australis) 
Found in hill regions and valleys under	rocks, stones, loose bark 
of trees, and around human habitation in gardens, old buildings, 
garages, cellars, and under houses.

A. australis is among the most dangerous to man. Its sting 
produces intense local pain, and significant swelling, but effects 
are principally systemic; a powerful neurotoxin 	with convulsant 
action. Mortality rate is high. *LIPM: "Scorpion"; PAST-ALG: 
"Anti-scorpion"

(Leiunus quinquestraiatus)	
Reported in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. Inhabits desert 
and semidesert regions, burrowing under rocks, stones, etc.  
Frequents human habitation. Nocturnal hunter. Stings occur more 
often at night and when the weather is stormy, temperature is 
elevated, and wind is hot.

Venom is neurotoxic with convulsant action. Venom is devoid of all 
blood coagulating activity. Effects are principally systemic. 
Vomiting generally is the first sign that nerve centers have been 
attacked by the toxin; in such cases, prognosis is poor. Average 
interval between envenomation and death is 2 to 20 hours. A 
characteristic of scorpion poisoning is the sudden reappearance of 
respiratory problems within 12 hours after an apparent recovery 
with complete disappearance of symptoms. *LIPM: "Scorpion"

Spiders
Black widow
(Latrodectus mactans tredecirnguttatus)
(L. pallidus)
In Iraq, the Latrodectus species are found mainly outdoors, unlike 
species found in North America, which are somewhat urbanized. Webs 
are found near the ground in wheat fields, corn fields, along 
borders of trenches, and in hollow trees. These spiders are not 
aggressive and appear rather sedentary. Females become aggressive 
when caring for their egg sacs or their young. Most bites occur 
when man violently interferes with the spider.

This spider's venom is neurotoxic in action, affecting chiefly the 
spinal cord. The bite often is unperceived, and local symptoms are 
hardly visible. An early pain in the lymph nodes follows after 10 
to 60 minutes. The most prominent symptom is intense pain in the 
lower back, abdomen, and thighs. Profuse sweating. muscle spasms, 
and salivation are characteristic. Several deaths have been 
reported.

SOURCES OF ANTIVENIN

LIPM:   Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine, Elstree, Herts WD 
6 3AX, England
PAST-ALG: Institut Pasteur d'Algerie, rue Docteur Laveran, 
Algiers, Algeria


Table III
Poisonous Vertebrates

Common Name/Scientific Name	
Specific Information

Saw-scaled viper, carpet viper, Egyptian saw-scale viper (Echis 
carinatus; Figure 1) (Echis pyramidium) Subspecies: Echis 
pyramidium (Egypt, western coast of Arabian peninsula) Echis 
carinatus sochureki (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia)

Identification--Category I. Average length, 0.4 to 0.6 meters. 
Head short, distinctly wider neck. Snout is blunt. Body moderately 
slender to stout, slightly flattened dorso-ventrally. Tail short, 
rather abruptly tapered, constitutes 8 to 11 percent of total body 
length. A light, trident or arrow-shaped mark usually seen on top 
of head, pale stripe from eye to angle of mouth. Dorsal ground 
color light buff or tan, to olive brown or chestnut, with median 
row of 28 to 36 whitish spots having dark edges; sides have 
narrow, undulating, white lines; dorsal portions of loops usually 
more conspicuous then ventral. Belly white to pale pinkish brown, 
stippled with dark gray; chin and throat white.
Distribution/habitat--Range extends from West Pakistan through 
Afghanistan, Iran, iraq, the Arabian peninsula, into North Africa. 
Snake is very abundant and inhabits most of desert and dry areas 
of these countries. Can be found far from any water source. Is 
found in almost barren rocky and sandy desert, and dry scrub 
forests, from seacoast to an elevation of about 1,800 meters.
Behavior--Nocturnal during hot dry weather, occasionally diurnal 
in cool weather. Limited data suggest that most bites occur during 
day.  Snake is arboreal; will climb into bushes to height of 2 
meters or more and bask during early morning. During cooler 
weather suns in the open, but is found more frequently under rocks 
or in mounds of dead plant stalks. Can bury itself in sand with 
only head exposed above ground. Is very alert, irritable, and 
aggressive.  Hunts prey almost entirely at night, but may hunt by 
day in cool weather. Usually tries to escape when encountered, but 
has been reported to chase victims aggressively. Sometimes moves 
with sidewinding motion. Assumes defensive figure 8 coil when 
encountered, rubbing inflated loops of body together to produce a 
distinctive rasping sound. Has considerable reach for small snake, 
can strike quickly, repeatedly.
Risk--Venom highly toxic. Snake is involved in many snakebite 
incidents and fatalities almost everywhere throughout its range; 
is considered to be most dangerous snake in world because of its 
venom toxicity and high population densities, often in rural 
agriculture areas. Also is extremely short-tempered, aggressive, 
will strike without provocation.
Clinical symptoms--Venom hemorrhagic; contains both coagulant 
and anticoagulant components. Central nervous system damage may 
result from hemorrhages. Victims experience local pain and 
swelling, often associated with local hematoma In a few cases, 
necrosis may develop in affected area. Systemic affects include 
decreased blood pressure; fever; bleeding tendencies from 
gastrointestinal tract, mucous membranes, venipuncture sites, 
muscles, subcutaneous tissues; hematuria 
*ANTIVENIN: Antivenin apparently effective only if prepared from 
venoms of same geographic taxonomic group.
	BEHR: "Near and Middle East", "North and West Africa"
	HAFF: Polyvalent
	IRAN: Poly-specific, "Echis" antivenin
	KASA: Polyvalent
	PAST: "Pasteur Ipser Afrique, "Antirept Pasteur"
	TASH: "Monovalent (Echis carinatus)", "Polyvalent (Naja and 
Echis carinatus)"
	SAIMR: "Echis"


Table III
Poisonous Vertebrates (continued)

Common Name/Scientific Name	
Specific Information

Levantine viper, mountain adder, desert adder, blunt-nosed viper 
or Kufi, Levant viper, Levantine adder, Levative viper, true adder 
(Vipera lebetina; Figure 3) Subspecies: Vipera lebetina (Cyprus) 
Vipera lebetina euphratica (Iraq, Iran) Vipera lebetina obtusa 
(Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Israel, Lebanon) Vipera 
lebetina turanica (Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan)

Identification--Category II. Large, up to 1.6 meters long; 
females larger than males. Has no horn, no shields; fangs very 
large. Scale pattern consists of rosettes with light centers; 
intensity of margination may merge into wavy band, lateral spots 
more distinct than dorsal patterns.  Coloration is gray, gray-
brown, or yellowish with gray underside in females. Tail pinkish 
brown, tapers abruptly.
Distribution/habitat--Found throughout most of Asia Minor and 
east to Pakistan. Found mostly in dry, rocky, mountainous areas 
between 1,000 and 2,200 meters elevation.
Behavior--Normally placid during day, but quite alert and will 
strike quickly. Occasionally aggressive at night. Is terrestrial, 
but can be found in bushes.  
Risk--Risk to man high. A dangerous snake of major medical 
importance. 
Clinical symptoms--Venom contains hemorrhagic factors, 
proteolytic enzymes, L-amino oxidase, phospholipase, coagulation 
accelerator, coagulation inhibitor. Clinical signs/symptoms 
include free bleeding from punctures, immediate burning local 
pain. Swelling occurs promptly around bite site, spreads 
centrally. Swelling often accompanied by discoloration of skin and 
ecchymosis. Blood-filled or serum-filled vesicles appear within a 
few hours. Early systemic symptoms also include weakness, 
faintness, sweating, thirst, nausea, vomiting, and frequently, 
diarrhea. Pain along lymphatics, swelling of regional lymph nodes 
occurs later.  
*ANTIVENIN
	BEHR: "Europe", "Near & Middle East", "North and West Africa"
	TASH: Monovalent "Vipera lebetina", Polyvalent
	PAST-ALG: "Antiviperin"
	IRAN: Monospecific "Vipera lebetina"
	PAST: Antirept Pasteur"


Table III
Poisonous Vertebrates (continued)

Common Name/Scientific Name	    
Specific Information

Black snake, Innes's cobra, desert black snake, Innes's snake, 
desert cobra, Walter Innes's snake, "happeter hashshahor" 
(Hebrew), Sinai cobra (Walternessia aegypti; Figure 4) Subspecies: 
None

Identification--Category II. Average length 0.9 to 1.1 meters; 
maximum length slightly more than 1.2 meters. Moderately slender. 
Color glossy black, possibly with brownish tinge. High gloss helps 
distinguish this species from duller Naja haje. Males' tails 
longer, heads and hoods wider than females'. Hood usually not 
apparent. Head small, not distinct from neck. Tail short.
Distribution/habitat--Found in: desert areas of northern Egypt, 
near Nile; the Sinai; along Red Sea coast; the Negev region, 
southern Israel; western Jordan; Syria; Iraq; Iran. In Saudi 
Arabia, found in interior plateau east of hills and mountains 
along Red Sea coast; along Persian Gulf coast near Bahrain; not 
found in ar-Rub al-Khali, ad-Dahna, an-Nafud, other lifeless 
desert areas. Also present in Kuwait. Probably present in similar 
regions of Iraq, but not found in Mesopotamia region. In Iran, 
found in desert hills of Khuzistan, in foothills of Zagros 
Mountains at elevations up to 1,000 meters. Primarily a desert 
species, ranges into adjoining grassland plains or foothills. 
Seldom found in damp areas. Reports of snake's presence in Lebanon 
doubtful.
Behavior--Nocturnal, spends much time underground. Eyesight poor. 
Can be very aggressive. When molested, threatened, or provoked, 
will hiss violently, strike (generally with closed mouth). Can 
strike at distances two-thirds its body length. Does not spread a 
hood or maintain an upright stance.
Risk--Risk moderate, but can be dangerous. Venom highly toxic, but 
bite victims in Israel, although requiring hospitalization, have 
recovered without specific antivenin treatment. Only one effective 
antivenin known to be available.
Clinical symptoms--Venom strongly neurotoxic inhibits blood 
clotting, causes little local hemorrhage. Symptoms include local 
pain, swelling, fever, general weakness, headache, vomiting.
*ANTIVENIN
	SAIMR: "Polyvalent" (Possibly effective)

*SOURCES OF ANTIVENIN

	BEHR: Behringwerke AG D3550 Marburg (Lahn), Postfach 167, 
Germany, Telephone: (06421)39-0, Telefax: (06421)66064, Telex: 
482320-01 bwd
	HAFF: Haffkine Bio-pharmaceutical Corporation, Parel, Bombay, 
India
	IRAN: Institut d'Etat des Serums et Vaccins Razi, P.O. Box 
656, Tehran, Iran
	KASA: Central Research Institute Kasauli (Simla Hills), 
(H.P.), India
	PAST: Institut Pasteur Production, 3 Boulevard Raymand 
Poincare, 92430-Marnes la Coquette, France, Telephone: (1) 
47.41.79.22, Telex: PASTVAC206464F
	PAST-ALG: Institut Pasteur d'Algerie, rue Docteur Laveran, 
Algiers, Algeria
	ROGO: Rogoff Medical Institute, Beilinson Medical Center, Tel 
Aviv, Israel
	SAIMR: South African Institute for Medical Research, P.O. Box 
1038, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa, Telephone: 724-1781, 
Telex: "BACTERIA"
	TASH: Research Institute of Vaccine and Serum, Ministry of 
Public Health, UI. Kafanova 93, Taskent, USSR

SECTION IV
Chemical and Biological Warfare

Medical Aspects of Chemical Warfare (CW)

Iraq is known to have employed the nerve agents GA (tabun), GB 
(sarin), and GF, the blister agents, sulfur mustard and "dusty 
mustard" (mustard on a silicate carrier). While the nerve agents 
kill large numbers of soldiers on the battlefield, the sulfur 
mustard agents, because there is no antidote, tied up vast 
resources and created the majority of CW hospitalized casualties. 

Iraq has chemical defense units throughout its military. Functions 
include CW casualty decontamination, medical triage, evacuation 
(primarily via ambulance). To prevent contamination of medical 
personnel, casualties are decontaminated with hot water showers at 
V-shaped trenches prior to entering medical aid stations.

Iraq has purchased, or is trying to obtain CW pretreatment and 
treatment drugs (such as pyndostigmine, diazepam, atropine), 
toxogonin autoinjectors, amyl nitrite and sodium thiosulfate. Iraq 
probably does not have sufficient supplies of CW antidotes and 
treatment drugs to deploy a sufficient number of standard CW first 
aid kits. [   (b)(1) sec 1.3(a)(4)   ]




Iraqi Biological Warfare (BW) Capabilities

The fully mature Iraqi BW program is the most extensive in the 
Middle East. Anthrax and botulinum toxin have been produced in 
military deployable quantities and are assessed to have been 
weaponized, although specific delivery systems have not been 
identified.

The BW program is generously funded and is comprised of an 
adequate technical infrastructure with sufficient technical, 
expertise, materiel, and manpower. Additionally, the program 
maintains a well organized procurement program and is fully  
supported by Saddam Hussein.

Intelligence indicates that the Iraqis had an interest in 
developing biological weapons since 1965. In addition to chemical 
weapons, Iraq considered the development of BW agents for use 
against the Kurds and Israelis in the early 1970s. After the start 
of the Iran/Iraq war, the program increased in scale and priority. 
Following the war the program accelerated.

Since the late 1970s, the Iraqi BW program has procured 
commercially available materiel from foreign sources for the 
military through front companies such the State Establishment for 
Pesticide Production and the Technical Materials Importation 
Division. Further, Iraq has successfully used legitimate 
scientific research facilities and their national Pharmaceutical 
industry to acquire not only state-of-the-art foreign 
biotechnology equipment but also foreign consultants, technicians, 
and other expertise for their BW program.

The Iraqis maintain dedicated facilities for the research, 
development, production, and storage of BW agents.  Construction 
of BW facilities has accelerated since the late 1970s. The primary 
military-administered BW research, development and storage complex 
is located at Salman Pak approximately 31 kilometers southeast of 
Baghdad. Structures at this highly secured site include a 
biological containment level 3/4 (BL3/4) building to safeguard 
against the most highly hazardous biological material, four 
climate controlled hardened munitions type storage bunkers, with 
two bunkers having refrigeration units indicating storage of 
temperature sensitive biological material, and a possible 
fermentation plant. Additional facilities supporting the BW 
program include a fermentation production plant at Taji, located 
in the northwestern suburbs of Baghdad; two facilities at Abu 
Ghurayb; the pharmaceutical facility at Samarra; and a classified 
biotechnological laboratory located at the Iraqi Atomic Energy 
Commission facility at Tuwaitha.

Agents in inventory and likely weaponized by Iraq include Bacillus 
anthracis bacteria and botulinum toxin. Microbial media sufficient 
for the production of billions of human lethal doses of anthrax 
bacteria and botulinum toxin and vacuum equipment for the drying 
of agents necessary to produce micron size particles for optimal 
weaponization have been acquired by Iraq.	    

Suspect agents in various stages of development include Vibrio 
cholerae, Staphylococcus enterotoxin, Clostridium perfingens 
bacteria or its toxin, and Yersinia pestis (plague bacteria).  
Although specific agents have been identified, the possibility 
that the Iraqis have or are developing other agents cannot ruled 
out.

Specific delivery systems for BW agents have not been identified. 
However, most of conventional munitions and missiles that could be 
used for the delivery of chemical agents can be used for 
biological agents. Possible delivery systems include vehicle 
transportable aerosol generators, submunitions, cluster bombs, 
spray tanks for high performance aircraft, artillery shells, and 
possibly warheads for Scud missiles.

The Iraqi BW defense program is patterned after that of the 
Soviets and uses much of the same type of equipment.  Although the 
need for immunizations has been recognized by the Iraqis, we 
assess that they have been unable to immunize on a large scale. 
The Iraqi Medical Service would be rapidly overwhelmed in the 
event of a BW attack and is not capable of handling a mass 
casualty situation.
 



 

 



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