Sunday, August 14, 2005

Chem weapons factory found in Iraq Updated

Now before anyone's dander gets all up, there's been no suggestion that this factory was there before Saddam was removed from power. That's still a possibility, but I can't really give the idea much credit. A raid of the location just north of Mosul turned up 11 precursors to chemical weapons and gear necessary to produce the weapons for deployment.

::::::::U.S. troops raiding a warehouse in the northern city of Mosul uncovered a suspected chemical weapons factory containing 1,500 gallons of chemicals believed destined for attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces and civilians, military officials said Saturday.

Monday's early morning raid found 11 precursor agents, "some of them quite dangerous by themselves," a military spokesman, Lt. Col. Steven A. Boylan, said in Baghdad.

Combined, the chemicals would yield an agent capable of "lingering hazards" for those exposed to it, Boylan said. The likely targets would have been "coalition and Iraqi security forces, and Iraqi civilians," partly because the chemicals would be difficult to keep from spreading over a wide area, he said.

Boylan said the suspected lab was new, dating from some time after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

This material isn't stuff procured at the nearest home improvement center or garnered from the kitchens of everyday Iraqis. This shows some support from some other nation and I've got a pretty good idea of which one. Syria's not it. Look eastward. Whoever's backing these bastards has pretty clearly decided that the average Iraqi isn't the kind of muslim they're fighting the horrible, nasty crusaders for and equally clearly doesn't care how many of them die alongside of our forces. I hope the rest of the Arab wor'd paying attention.

Update: I've been advised in an e-mail that I should take a stong look at a map and reconsider my suggestion about which country these chemicals came through. That's a fair request and I have. (You can, too: here.) Mosul's in the north west of Iraq which would make it a lot closer to Syria than Iran. Given the problem of transporting this stuff all the way across northern Iraq (that's through Kurdish territory, isn't it?) I have to agree that the stuff likely came in from Syria. Fair enough. We've already got plenty of reasons to turn our eyes that way in any case.