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FLASH# UN Inspectors Find Empty Chemical Weapons Shells

breaking news | 16.01.2003 18:02

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breaking news


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16.01.2003 18:07

11 empty cases
found in bunkers built 1990
assumed to have been imported in 1980s
one other being examined

thought not to be 'serious breach'


maybe .. maybe not

16.01.2003 20:22

Hmmm... So what you are saying if you say that this is not a "serios" breach is that .. it is OK for Iraq to lie about it's weapon of Mass Destruction or other weapons.
But many of you keep saying how other countries breach some UN resolutions and they should be dealt with so...if the Un resolution said that ALL !!!! and I suppose that did mean ALL the weapons of Iraq were to be declared in the 12.000 pages and if not....well that would be a serious enough breach to cause a military response...then are the "activists" saying that the "law" of U.N should not be followed???
Don't misunderstand me, I do not think war will resolve anything....but just thinking that rules should be the same for everyone....or maybe not?? After all in some Anti-War demos you see more violence than in your ordinary North London Football Derby there we go...activists for peace, as long as the Police won't get in your way.....

Well, lets see 15th of Feb how it goes....


a bird shit covered sealed box - ooh scary!

16.01.2003 21:33

.. with empty warheads.. we are going to war on this!!!!?

BAGHDAD, Iraq –– U.N. inspectors found 11 empty chemical warheads in "excellent" condition at an ammunition storage area in southern Iraq on Thursday, and the components were not reported in Iraq's declaration meant to account for all banned weapons, a U.N. spokesman said.

Iraq insisted the warheads had been included in its declaration. It was not immediately clear if discovery constituted a "material breach" of the U.N. resolution requiring Iraq to itemize all its weapons of mass destruction and their components.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the administration was "aware of the reports and we look forward to receiving information from the inspectors." McClellan would not comment on how significant the find was.

The 122 mm shells were found when inspectors searched bunkers built in the late 1990s at the Ukhaider Ammunition Storage Area, about 75 miles south of Baghdad, said Hiro Ueki, the spokesman for U.N. weapons inspectors in Baghdad, in a statement.

The team examined one of the warheads with X-ray equipment and took away samples for chemical testing, Ueki said.

The United States, which has begun a heavy military buildup in the Persian Gulf, has threatened war on Iraq if it is found to be hiding banned weapons programs. The Iraqi government says it no longer has any chemical, biological or nuclear weapons and submitted a 12,000-page declaration to the United Nations last month that it said proved its case.

Ueki told The Associated Press that the shells were not accounted for in the report. "It was a discovery. They were not declared," he said.

But Lt. Gen. Hossam Mohammed Amin, the chief Iraqi liaison officer to the inspection teams, said they were short-range shells imported in 1988 and mentioned in Iraq's December declaration.

He expressed "astonishment" over "the fuss made about the discovery by a U.N. inspection team of 'mass destruction weapons.' It is no more than a storm in a teacup," Amin told a news conference hastily called after the U.N. announcement.

Amin said the inspection team found the munitions in a sealed box that had never been opened and was covered by dust and bird droppings.

"When these boxes were opened, they found 122-mm rockets with empty warheads. No chemical or biological warheads. Just empty rockets which are expired and imported in 1988," Amin said, adding similar rockets were found by U.N. inspectors in 1997.

Physicist David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security and a former nuclear weapons inspector in Iraq, said that the discovery would represent a violation "if Iraq knew that these warheads existed and they are for chemical weapons."

Inspectors will "have to test to see if there are any traces of chemical weapons in the warheads and in the bunkers where they were found, and they will have to talk to the Iraqis," Albright said.

On Dec. 7, a chemical team secured a dozen artillery shells filled with mustard gas that had first been inventoried by earlier inspectors in the 1990s. Those were the first weapons of mass production brought under inspectors' control in the current search, which began in November.

Chief inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei have said Iraq's weapons declaration is incomplete — failing in particular to support its claims to have destroyed missiles, warheads and chemical agents such as VX nerve gas.

Inspectors on Thursday also searched the homes of two Iraqi scientists in Baghdad, escorting one of them to a field to examine what appeared to be a man-made mound of earth. The scientist, who carried a box of documents as he left his house, was then taken to the inspectors hotel along with the documents and Irai officials.

An Iraqi official said the inspectors also asked to interview two other scientists in private, but that the scientists refused to speak unless Iraqi liaison officials were present.

Blix and ElBaradei have stepped up demands that Iraqi improve its cooperation — including allowing private interviews with scientists — and are headed to Baghdad to meet officials Sunday and Monday and seek more information.

"Iraq must do more than they have done so far," Blix said in Belgium after briefing European Union officials. Iraqis "need to be more active ... to convince the Security Council that they do not have weapons of mass destruction."

Otherwise, he said, the alternative is "the other avenue ... we have seen taking shape in the form of military action."

The homes searched Thursday were those of physicist Faleh Hassan and his next-door neighbor, nuclear scientist Shaker el-Jibouri, in the neighborhood of al-Ghazalia.

It was the first time the inspectors have searched private home since they resumed their work. The team searched the homes for six hours, with experts seen going through documents at a table set up near Hassan's front door and having an animated discussion with Iraqi liaison officials.

Afterward, Hassan — who is director of al-Razi, a military installation that specializes in laser development — drove with the inspectors and Iraqi officials to a field about 10 miles west of Baghdad in an agricultural area known as al-Salamiyat. There, Hassan, two inspectors and a liaison officer walked to a bare field and examined what appeared to be a manmade earth mound for about five minutes.

Inspectors did not speak to journalists and it was not clear why they were interested in the mound. An Iraqi official later said the field was a farm that Hassan once owned but sold in 1996.

After the visit, a visibly angry el-Jibouri told reporters the inspectors spent two hours in his home — and cordoned it off for much longer — looking into everything, "including beds and clothes."

"This is a provocative operation," el-Jibouri said. "They did not take away any documents but they looked at personal research papers."

Inspectors also asked to speak privately at their hotel with two other scientists linked to Iraq's weapons programs Thursday, but the scientists refused to be interviewed without Iraqi officials present, Lt. Gen. Hossam Mohammed Amin, the top Iraqi liaison with the inspectors, told reporters.

The inspectors did not interview the two scientists, whom Amin did not identify. The two were on a list of 500 Iraqi scientists believed to have been involved in Iraq's armament programs and which was submitted to the United Nations last month, he said.

U.N. Resolution 1441, which set up the tough new inspections regime, empowers the U.N. teams to conduct private interviews with Iraqi scientists involved in biological, chemical or nuclear programs — in hopes that privacy will encourage them to reveal hidden weapons. But while the Iraqi government says scientists are free to speak without officials presents, so far none have agreed to do so.



17.01.2003 01:20



eric (not tony) blair

darren, rules should be the same for all...

17.01.2003 09:31

If the rules should be the same for everyone then shouldn't we have weapons inspectors in every country?!?! That seems very obvious to me...
We know for a fact that, for example, the US hashuge stores of chemical and biological weapons and more nuclear weapons than the rest of the world put together. We also know that the US has sold & given WMD to amongst others, Iraq, thus is the main proliferator of WMD.
Of course the US would never allow inspectors and no security council resolution could ever be passed against US/GB etc cos they'd veto it....


To recycle an old Bill Hicks joke...

17.01.2003 14:06

Couldn't Dubya save everyone a lot of time and effort by just asking his dad to look through his old invoices?


The End is Fucking Nigh

17.01.2003 14:36

Empty shells? OH FUCK we're all going to die!!


fair enough

17.01.2003 15:09

I have been to enough Demos to see the violence myself...and yes I do sometimes read the Evening Standard (as u find it in trains).

And ofciurse the rules should apply ot all...and as rightly pointed out, no one believes the US to be the innocent lamb . Quite the opposite, they probably have the most weapons around the block.

But you got to admit that it was a lie form Iraq to say that they did not posses such weapons....or am I wrong??

Still I believe that the war will NOT happen and this will all die down eventually....but we'll wait and see