The United States went to war in Iraq expecting to destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, it found only remnants of chemical arms built in close collaboration with the West.
The only chemical weapons US forces found in Iraq between 2004 and 2011 were “designed in the United States” and “manufactured in Europe,” according to a new revealing report.
American and Iraqi troops found, and in multiple cases, were injured by aged and degraded stockpiles of chemical weapons in Iraq, a New York Times investigation, published late Tuesday, has found. 12 Most Dangerous Substances
However, the report said, the US withheld information about the discoveries as those weapons were manufactured in the 1980s when the US and its allies were actively supplying chemical agents to Saddam Hussein’s regime during the Iraq-Iran war.
American soldiers discovered more than 4,990 chemical warheads, shells, or aviation bombs in the years following the invasion. Seventeen American soldiers and seven Iraqi police officers were exposed to nerve or mustard agents while searching for chemical weapons.
The administration of former US president George W. Bush insisted that Iraq had a clandestine chemical weapons program in defiance of international law, a claim employed to justify the 2003 invasion of the oil-rich Middle Eastern country.
Former US soldiers, who took part in the disposal of the old weapons, told the Times that the Bush administration covered up both their existence and the fact that US service members were exposed because the US was largely responsible for Iraq having chemical weapons in the first place.