Iraqi chemical weapons program

Iraqi Chemical Weapons Program

Iraqi chemical weapons program

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In violation of the Geneva Protocol of 1925, the Iraqi Army initiated two failed (1970-1974, 1974-1978) and one successful (1978-1991) offensive chemical weapons (CW) programs.; Iraq Survey Group Final Report (2004) at President Saddam Hussein (1937-2006) pursued the most extensive chemical program during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), when he waged chemical warfare against his foe. He also used chemicals in 1988 in the Al-Anfal Campaign against his civilian Kurdish population and during a popular uprising in the south in 1991.

Although efforts to acquire chemical weapons dated back to the early 1960s (pre-dating Hussein's regime), the Iraqis did not have stockpiles at the outbreak of the war with Iran in 1980. But in time, they began to develop an intensive research program to produce and store chemical weapons and used the war fields to test and perfect their chemical warfare prowess. Thus, as the war continued, Iraq’s chemical warfare program came to expand rapidly.

Iraq’s biological warfare development pursued a similar course, but by the time Iraqis were testing biological warheads (containing anthrax and botulinum toxin) in Iraqi’s deserts the war had come to end.Foroutan Abbas, Medical experiences of Iraq's Chemical Warfare Baqiyatallah Univ. Med. Sci., Tehran 2003

Early history: The 1970s

The 1980s program

On September 22, 1980, Iraq staged an all-out war on Iran from ground, air, and sea and...
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