16 Suspect CW/BW Storage Sites Identified in 28 February 1991 MARCENT Message
A Statement for the Record by Robert D. Walpole Special Assistant to the DCI for Persian gulf War Illnesses Issues Central Intelligence Agency to the President Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses
4 September 1997
Dr. Lashof, Members of the Committee, my next remarks will focus on our efforts related to the 17 locations (actually only 16 because of a duplication) listed in a 28 February 1991 MARCENT cable your staff mentioned in the Buffalo meeting. The cable indicates these sites were suspected to have possibly contained chemical or biological weapons prior to the ground war. Your staff had asked that we review intelligence related to the sites and to MARCENT's indication of suspected chemical or biological weapons storage.
We are continuing to search for intelligence that might help the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, as well as others, determine possible causes of Gulf war veterans' illnesses. Our effort includes searching for information on any site that would indicate the presence of chemical or biological weapons. So far, having looked carefully at significant amounts of relevant intelligence reporting, and having analyzed Iraq's deployment of chemical weapons, we assess that Khamisiyah and An Nasiriyah are the only two sites within the Kuwait Theater of Operations at which chemical weapons were stored during Desert Storm. We will continue to assess information on suspected chemical and biological weapons sites, and will inform this Committee, as well as other interested parties, if we find new information changing this assessment.
Now to the list of 16 MARCENT locations. As I indicated in Buffalo, a search of the Gulflink internet site shows that during the war there were many lists of suspect CW and BW sites:
- Each list was the result of analytical efforts from available information;
- None of the lists was based on definitive information;
- It is unlikely that anyone putting together the lists was certain that chemical weapons would be found at all of the sites. Most often each site was suspected as a potential storage location, and as such was included for targeting purposes.
We do not know what information CENTCOM considered in formulating the MARCENT list of suspect CW munitions storage sites. A review of information available to the Task Force on the 16 locations listed uncovered no evidence of equipment, structures, or unusual security that suggested the presence of CW munitions. (Coordinates given for two of the sites on the list were for the same facility.) These locations may be grouped into the following categories:
- Four large Iraqi-built field storage facilities with 50 to 225 revetments each;
- Six Kuwaiti-built permanent facilities taken over by the Iraqis (none appeared to be used for storage of Iraqi munitions);
- Five deployment areas for Iraqi motor transport units associated with logistic support (one of these was outside the MARCENT area of responsibility, just west of the Kuwait-Iraq border); and
- One location where there were no indications of munitions storage.
Additional information on each location follows:
1. Ammo Storage Depot--Al Jahra (291903N 0473752E)
This Kuwaiti-built facility contained 21 revetted storage buildings, but we have no evidence that the Iraqis used the depot for munitions storage during Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
2. Ammo Depot--Al Ahmadi-Mirzaini (291241N 0480059E)
This Kuwaiti-built munitions depot contained 19 revetted storage buildings and six small bunkers; we have no evidence that the Iraqis used it for munitions storage or any other purpose during Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
3. POL/Ammo Depot--Kuwaiti Barracks (291402N 0480211E)
This Kuwaiti garrison and logistic base, taken over by the Iraqis, contained six ammunition bunkers, three revetted fuel bladders, and numerous warehouses.
4. Ammo Site--Permanent Site (291900N 0480000E)
The geographic coordinates listed are for a residential area of Kuwait City, and we have no information on munitions storage in this vicinity.
5. Ras Al Qulayah Ammo Storage Area (285300N 0481700E)
This is an Iraqi-built storage facility with 51 revetments containing crated munitions. The storage facility probably supported Iraqi infantry divisions deployed in southern Kuwait. This is the same location as number 10 below.
6. Ras Al Qulayah Central Ammo Depot (284938N 0481048E)
This was a Kuwaiti naval weapons storage facility that supported vessels based at Ras Al Qulayah Naval Base. Although the facility was taken over by the Iraqis, they apparently did not store munitions there, but an Iraqi infantry division headquarters unit may have occupied it. The facility contained six large bunkers, six groups of five contiguous small bunkers, six other small bunkers, and a bunkered ordnance checkout/assembly building.
7. 13 Revetted Trucks (290400N 0480400E)
These trucks belonged to subunits of either the Iraqi 5th Mechanized Infantry Division or an infantry division deployed to defend the central coast of Kuwait.
8. Al Ahmadi Ammo Storage Area (290600N 0480400E)
This large ammo storage area, constructed by the Iraqis during Desert Shield, contained 225 revetments; by early 1991, at least 190 of the revetments were filled with crated munitions.
9. 34 Trucks (285900N 0475400E)
These trucks were at a logistic base that supported the Iraqi 29th Infantry Division.
10. 50 Large Revetments (285256N 0481649E)
This is the same location as number 5 above; the two sets of coordinates refer to the same site.
Note: In addition to the confusion associated with numbers 5 and 10 above, the CENTCOM/MARCENT list also attributes security features actually at number 6, Ras Al Qulayah Central Ammo Depot, to number 10, the "50 Large Revetments."
11. Ammo Staging Point (291520N 0480130E)
Installations occupied by Iraqi forces in the vicinity of these coordinates included a military garrison and recreation area. Three preexisting bunkers in the garrison were the only indication of munitions storage in the vicinity.
12. Ammo Dump (294400N 0474100E)
The nearest Iraqi munitions storage facility, actually at 2946N 04741E, contained about 130 revetments (not covered) filled with crated munitions.
13. 111 Covered Revetments (294700N 0474100E)
The revetments at this facility were not covered; munitions were stored in 129 of 132 open revetments here.
14. 88 Trucks (291342N 0472525E)
These trucks probably belonged to a motor transport unit subordinate to the Iraqi 21st Infantry Division.
15. Dibdibba Munitions Storage Depot (291149N 0472511E)
We have no evidence that this Kuwaiti-built munitions depot, containing 40 revetted buildings, was used by the Iraqis for munitions storage during Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
16. 30 Trucks (292000N 0473400E)
These trucks belonged to subunits of either the Iraqi 1st Mechanized Infantry Division or the 15th Infantry Division.
17. 107 Trucks (294500N 0485200E)
These are coordinates for a logistic base that supported the Tawakalna Republican Guard (RG) Mechanized Infantry Division, deployed just west of the Kuwait-Iraq border; the trucks belonged to the motor transport unit subordinate to that division. (This location is outside the MARCENT area of operations.)