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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 281-00
May 25, 2000

PRESENCE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS AT TALLIL AIR BASE DURING GULF WAR DEEMED UNLIKELY

The Department of Defense announced today the release of the final version of its case narrative, "Tallil Air Base, Iraq". This final report concludes the investigation into the possibility that Iraq stored chemical weapons and chemical warfare agents at its Tallil Air Base during the 1991 Gulf War. Investigators determined it was unlikely that chemical weapons or agents were present at Tallil during the war.

The final report concurs with investigators' original findings that were released as an interim report in 1997. Since then, no new evidence and no new leads were developed that contradict the original material.

Based upon its history, coalition air campaign planners believed Tallil was a probable storage point for chemical weapons and chemical warfare agents. It had served as a staging point for Iraq's airborne chemical attacks against Iran in their 10-year war. It also had a peculiar, S-shaped bunker that western intelligence sources had initially assessed as designed to house chemical weapons and their components.

A coalition airstrike heavily damaged the S-shaped bunker during the short air campaign. After the cease-fire, U.S. forces occupied and destroyed Tallil. Explosive ordnance disposal technicians and nuclear, biological and chemical specialists inspected the base and its facilities prior to its destruction. They found no evidence of chemical weapons or chemical warfare agents. There were no reports of medical symptoms associated with chemical warfare agents or reports of personnel seeking medical attention for suspected chemical warfare agent contact.

Post-war U. N. inspectors also failed to discover any evidence of chemical weapons or agents at Tallil.

The case narrative is available on the GulfLINK at http://www.gulflink.osd.mil .

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