IK/157

                                                      SC/5754

                                                      22 November 1993





           SPECIAL COMMISSION'S TEAM CONCLUDES ONSITE INVESTIGATION



                    OF ALLEGED CHEMICAL WEAPONS USE BY IRAQ







     The following has been received from the Special Commission set up under

Security Council resolution 687 (1991) in connection with the disposal of

Iraq's weapons of mass destruction:



     The Special Commission's team sent to Iraq to investigate allegations of

the use of chemical weapons in the southern marshlands north-west of Basrah

concluded its on-site work on 21 November.  It is now reviewing its findings

and writing its report.  No immediate evidence of the use of chemical weapons

was obtained.  However, a large number of samples were taken by the inspection

team.  A definitive finding on the question of use will not be reached until

all the samples taken at the site have been analyzed.  This might take some

months.



     The team, led by Roger Hill of Australia and comprising nine experts,

conducted its inspection of the site of the alleged chemical weapons attack on

20 and 21 November.  During the inspection, the team conducted a thorough

inspection of the site and took a large number of soil, water, flora and fauna

samples which will be analyzed in various laboratories expert in the analysis

of such samples.  The team also inspected the area around the site of the

alleged attack.  Vehicles, boats and helicopters were used in the survey.

During the inspection, the team did not find any immediate evidence of the use

of chemical weapons.



     In the course of its inspection, the Commission has also obtained some

documents, the authenticity and relevance of which are now subject to

investigation.



     Analysis is expected to take some months to conclude.  The Special

Commission will not, until the results of these analyses are available, be in

a position to arrive at a definitive conclusion on the question of whether

chemical weapons were used or not.







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