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Iraqi's SRBM Capabilities and Options for Use 

Filename:0182pgv.00d
Subject: Iraqi's SRBM Capabilities and Options for Use 

Key Judgments

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- Chemical or biological SRBM warheads (if available) will be 
withheld as a potential response to battlefield reverses or as 
retaliation for attacks on Baghdad. They will be aimed at military 
targets or at civilian locations (possibly including Israeli as 
well as opposing Arab) as weapons of terror or retribution.

- Possible deployment areas in southern Iraq and Kuwait put US 
forces in range of Iraqi missiles.

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 could force Saddam Hussein into a 'use or lose' situation for the 
missiles, and create pressure for their employment with chemical 
or biological warheads.


I. Background 

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II. Operational Capability

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          In addition to high explosive (HE) warheads, Iraq is 
assessed to have chemical warfare (CW) warheads for their SCUD, Al 
Abbas, and Al Husayn missiles. While unitary agents (mustard, 
Tabun, and possibly VX) are most likely, Iraq may also have a 
binary SRBM chemical warhead (Sarin or GF). Chemical-tipped SRBMs 
would most likely be fired during the early morning hours probably 
from 0300 to 0600 local to ensure that the meteorological 
conditions will keep the CW agent from rising into the atmosphere. 
Such weapons are not assessed as posing a significant threat to 
Iraq's military forces opposing Iraq due to the probable limited 
quantity of binary warheads available, reduced payloads of 
deliverable CW agents, and missile inaccuracy. However, they could 
pose a 'terror weapon' threat to large population centers in the 
region.

          Iraq also is assessed as having the technological 
capability to produce biological warfare (BW) agents -- anthrax 
and botulinum toxin -- as well as develop air and ground munitions 
delivery capabilities. A SRBM BW warhead cannot be discounted, 
although very few would be available.

          While Iraq is assessed to have fuel air explosive (FAE) 
aerial bombs and possibly multiple rocket rounds, no such warheads 
are believed available for any SRBM. Likewise, nuclear SRBM 
warheads are not believed likely until sometime after the year 
2000, despite an active, long-established nuclear program.


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IV. Iraqi SRBM Employment: An Assessment

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    We assess the Iraqis probably will refrain from using chemical 
weapons against opposing military forces unless the military 
situation seriously deteriorates, or Baghdad is directly attacked 
on a significant scale. In such a case, Saddam Hussein could order 
SRBM CW/BW attacks on distant airfields or assembly areas with 
salvos of four to six missiles. However, even this use of SRBMs 
will not significantly affect military operations because of the 
low levels of agents in Iraqi weapons and missile inaccuracy. In 
the face of further reverses, Saddam Hussein could seek to repeat 
his apparently successful use of SRBMs as weapons of terror during 
the Iran war by, as a last resort, ordering HE-, CW-, or possibly 
BW-armed SRBM attacks against densely populated areas such as 
Dhahran or Riyadh. Such an attack would probably involve all of 
Iraq's SRBM assets within range of these civilian areas, and could 
include Israeli targets. While such SRBM attacks could be costly 
in the loss of civilian life and economic impact, they, too, would 
have little effect on the final outcome of the war.

V. Conclusions

       The Iraqis can employ their SRBM force in a variety of 
ways:

-- With conventional warheads against military targets
-- With CW/BW warheads against military targets
-- With CW/BW warheads as 'Terror Weapons' against civilian or 
economic targets.

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 While use of CW/BW warheads would greatly increase the 
destructiveness of a small number of missiles, the resulting 
resentment and outrage may establish a consensus among Gulf states 
and in the Arab world to destroy the Iraqi regime and its military 
potential.

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



 

 



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