Gassed In The Gulf: 21 Years Later

On March 4, 1991, engineers from the 82nd Airborne Division found themselves given the task of destroying captured Iraqi military ordnance at the Khamisiyah ammunition depot in southern Iraq, not far from the Iraqi city of An Nasiriyah. Those engineers had no way of knowing that the munitions they were being asked to destroy contained degraded Iraqi sarin and cyclosarin-filled BM-21 rockets and other related artillery rounds. They didn’t know because a Top Secret human intelligence report on the contents of the depot was only circulated at the highest levels of our government–a fact that would not surface for more than five years after the Khamisiyah demolition took place. The Government Accountability Office report on the incident and it’s aftermath makes for damning reading. It also stands as some of the best scientific and analytical work done by GAO over the last quarter century.

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