IK/67

                                                      SC/5810

                                                      25 March 1994







   SPECIAL COMMISSION COMPLETES DESTRUCTION OF IRAQ'S DECLARED AND RECOVERED



                     STOCKPILE OF CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS





     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 Chemical Destruction Group, part of the United Nations Special

Commission entrusted with destroying Iraq's former stocks of chemical warfare

agents and production capabilities, has reported that it has completed the

destruction of Iraq's stocks of the chemical warfare agent sulphur mustard.

With this, the Group has completed the destruction of Iraq's declared and

recovered stockpile of chemical warfare agents.



     A total of some 400,000 litres of sulphur has been destroyed by the

Special Commission at the Muthanna site.  Sulphur mustard is a blister agent

which relies for its effect on its reaction with skin.  It causes lesions

which fill with liquid.  Victims exposed to mustard gas without the protection

of gas masks also suffer severe injury to their lungs, which may result in the

lungs filling with liquid to the extent that the victims effectively drowns.



     The Special Commission has also, through its activities at Mughanna,

destroyed nearly 28,000 chemical munitions (rockets, missile warheads,

artillery shells and bombs), nearly 83,000 litres of nerve agents, over

1,220,000 litres of key precursor chemicals for the production of mustard or

nerve agents, and some 421,000 litres, 1,035,500 kilograms and 197 barrels of

other chemical precursors.



     A small amount of other precursor chemicals remain to be destroyed at

Muthanna, in addition to quantities of equipment for the production of

chemical warfare agents.  Thereafter, a comprehensive survey of the site will

be conducted to ensure that no chemical warfare hazard remains at the site.

Any additional items requiring destruction discovered during this survey will

be dealt with at that stage.  It is suspected that there may be a quantity of

155-millimetre mustard-filled artillery shells buried at one part of the

site.  Iraq has agreed to assist the Commission in the identification and

recovery of these munitions in the coming weeks, after which they will also be

destroyed.



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