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April 01, 2003

Iraqi Bioweapons Facilities Abu Ghurayb

Iraqi Bioweapons Facilities

Abu Ghurayb - Visited once by Hans Blix's team, who inspected exactly one laboratory in the 500,000+ meter facility. Not yet reached by coalition ground forces.

Al-Dawrah/Al-Manal - Visited by UNMOVIC inspectors on 11/29/2002. Reported as out of operation. Not yet reached by coalition ground forces.

Al Safa/ Fudaliyah - No report of a visit by UNMOVIC inspectors to this facility could be found, even though it was considered facility of some importance by a former UNSCOM inspector, and was listed as a likely location for the study of fungal toxins by UNMOVIC. Not yet reached by coalition ground forces.

An Nasiriyah - No report of a visit by UNMOVIC inspectors to this facility could be found. Could the possible presence of banned weaponry be another reason why the resistance in that area has been so prolonged?

Aqaba Establishment - No report of a visit by UNMOVIC inspectors to this facility could be found. Not yet reached by coalition ground forces.

al-Masbar - Located in Baghdad. No report of a visit by UNMOVIC inspectors to this facility could be found. Not yet reached by coalition ground forces.

Al Hakam - Destroyed by UNSCOM in 1996. Not visited since. Some equipment used in the plant was later removed by Iraqi in violation of an agreement with UNSCOM.

Hans Blix on Al Hakam
".......UNMOVIC estimates that about 21,000 liters of biological warfare agent was stored in bulk at locations remote from Al Hakam. About half of this, about 10,000 liters was anthrax,"
"It therefore seems highly probable that the destruction of the bulk agent, including anthrax, stated by Iraq to be at Al Hakam in July-August 1991 did not occur......."

Al Hakam has not yet reached by coalition ground forces.

Latifiyah / Latifiya - UNMOVIC missile inspectors inspected the Al-Qa'qa complex, which Latifiyah is a part of. No report of a visit by UNMOVIC biological inspectors to this facility could be found. Not yet reached by coalition ground forces.

Salman Pak - "engaged in laboratory scale research on Anthrax, Botulinum toxin, Clostridium, perfringens (gas gangrene), mycotoxins, aflatoxins, and Ricin. Researchers at this site carried out toxicity evaluations of these agents and examined their growth characteristics and survivability," but is more famous as a terrorist training camp. Partially inspected by an IAEA nuclear team on February 4th. An aerial inspection was carried out by UNMOVIC biological inspectors in January. There were no ground inspections of the facility by a biological team before UNMOVIC left Iraq. Not yet reached by coalition ground forces.

Samarra/Muthanna State Establishment - Visited by UNMOVIC chemical and IAEA nuclear inspection teams. UNMOVIC chemical teams destroyed a number of chemical weapons in early February. There are no reports of a trip to the Muthanna State Establishment by UNMOVIC biological inspectors. Not yet reached by coalition ground forces.

Taji Single Cell Protein Plant - An active facility. Supposedly inspected on Dec. 25th, 2002. No inspection summary is listed. The Al-Taji compound, which is it is a part of , has been visited by IAEA nuclear and UNMOVIC missile inspectors, who destroyed several AL-Samoud missiles there. Not yet reached by coalition ground forces.

Tareq - An Al-Tareq insecticide company was visited by a UNMOVIC chemical team on January 6th, but it is unclear if these sites are the same or not. Regardless, no visit by a UNMOVIC biological team was found. Not yet reached by coalition ground forces.

1.) mini-fisk: The BBC on Iraqi biological weapons "Iraq's discontinued germ warfare programme...". Saddam said it was discontinued, so it must be true.

2.) A complete list of Iraqi Special Weapons Facilities can be found here.

3.) A Landsat Satellite Image of Central Iraq showing some of the locations above may be seen here.

4.) Summaries of all UNMOVIC inspections may be found here

5.) The UNMOVIC biological inspectors aerial survey - UNMOVIC biological inspectors conducted for the first time aerial inspections of several sites, including Fallujah 2, Fallujah 3, the Agricultural and Biological Research Center, the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center and former biological research facilities at Salman Pak.

The Fallujah sites are known to be chemical warfare sites, and the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center is, well, nuclear. Why were biological inspectors doing aerial surveys of these areas while known biowarfare sites got no attention paid to them whatsoever? The Agricultural and Biological Research Center is located in Baghdad. None have been reached by coalition ground forces.

6.) Salman Pak/Salam Pax? Inquiring minds want to know.

7.) With the number of teams that he had to coordinate (nuclear, chemical, missile biological and who knows what else), and the staggering number of sites to visit, it's amazing that Hans Blix found anything at all. Given the enormous complexities involved in the inspection process, even a throroughly incompetent regime could have successfully hidden most of its banned weapons for the limited time that inspections went on.

8.) Most of the banned weapons sites are close to Baghdad, so they probably won't be adequately inspected until after the war.

Posted by Bigwig at April 1, 2003 02:04 PM | TrackBack
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