WASHINGTON (Reuters) 04/07/03
U.S. forces near Baghdad found a weapons cache of around 20 medium-range missiles equipped with potent chemical weapons, the U.S. news station National Public Radio reported on Monday.
NPR, which attributed the report to a top official with the 1st Marine Division, said the rockets, BM-21 missiles, were equipped with sarin and mustard gas and were “ready to fire.” It quoted the source as saying new U.S. intelligence data showed the chemicals were “not just trace elements.”
It said the cache was discovered by Marines with the 101st Airborne Division, which was following up behind the Army after it seized Baghdad’s international airport.
U.S. Central Command headquarters in Qatar had no immediate comment.
The United States and Britain launched the war against Iraq to rid the country of weapons of mass destruction. Iraq denies having such weapons.