United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

News Release

Press Operations Bookmark and Share

News Release


IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 620-97
November 17, 1997

ARMY IG COMPLETES INQUIRY INTO KHAMISIYAH WEAPONS DEMOLITION

The Department of Defense released today a Department of the Army Inspector General (DAIG) report on the demolition of Iraqi ammunition near Khamisiyah. Former Deputy Secretary of Defense John White tasked the Army on Sept. 25, 1996 to conduct an independent inquiry into the destruction of weapons near Khamisiyah and to identify any other sites where the same or similar operations were conducted.

In the course of its inquiry, the DAIG inquiry team gathered and assessed over 2,000 pages of documents and support materials including orders, reports, photographs, videotapes and operations logs. The team visited 12 major installations, including some in Korea, Japan and Germany. It also interviewed over 700 soldiers, veterans and civilians including about 250 of the approximately 430 individuals involved in the Khamisiyah demolition operation.

The inquiry team developed a detailed timeline of the Khamisiyah demolitions and concluded that no chemical weapons were ever detected during the operation. It found that force protection measures were generally adequate, although not all soldiers performed to standard when an M8 alarm sounded on March 4, 1991.

The investigation found "no certainty" that the munitions demolition operation at Khamisiyah would have proceeded differently had the units there been aware that chemical weapons may have been present. Neither did it find any credible evidence that an event similar to Khamisiyah occurred anywhere else in the Kuwaiti Theater of Operations.

The IG did not recommend major doctrinal changes, but did offer seven recommendations ranging from improved training and equipment to better information flow and records maintenance.

More information on Khamisiyah is available on the Defense Department's GulfLINK Internet site (www.gulflink.osd.mil). The Army IG report will soon be available on GulfLINK.