Continuing Support for Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Research
Request for Veterans' Help
- Photo of chemical rockets destroyed in pit area, March 1991, and Predomolition photo of pit area near Khamisiyah, Iraq
Support Efforts. No US troops reported symptoms, or were treated for chemical agent exposure at Khamisiyah. In response to veterans' concerns about Gulf war-related health problems, however, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense are searching intelligence and other reports for any information that might address the illnesses of Persian Gulf Veterans.
In 1996, a joint CIA-DoD investigation concluded that in March 1991 US troops had unknowingly destroyed Iraqi chemical munitions at two locations near Khamisiyah, Iraq:
- Bunker 73. US troops destroyed 122-mm (five inches in diameter and eight feet long) chemical rockets stored in one of the 102 bunkers at the Khamisiyah ammunition depot. Subsequent sampling indicates that the rockets contained the nerve agents sarin and GF. Iraq referred to that bunker as "Bunker 73."
- The "Pit" South of Khamisiyah. US troops destroyed some of the several hundred 122-mm chemical rockets in numerous stacks that had been placed in a 400-meter-long shallow sand pit two kilometers south of the Khamisiyah ammunition depot (see overhead image of the pit, above). Subsequent sampling indicates that the rockets also contained sarin and GF. In May 1996, Iraq told UN inspectors that, just before the Gulf war, it moved about 1,100 chemical rockets from Bunker 73 to the pit.
Modeling Exposure Areas. Last year, CIA and DoD employed computer modeling to help determine how large an area near Bunker 73 was exposed to chemical agents following the demolition of chemical rockets in the bunker:
- The model, which estimated the effects of prevailing winds and other factors, projected an exposure area extending approximately 25 kilometers east and northeast of the bunker.
We are continuing research on events in the pit area in March 1991 so that we can more accurately model how large an area may have been exposed to chemical agents.
Veterans May Be Able To Help.
Gulf war veterans who either participated in the demolition activities, or who saw the pit either before or after the demolition, could provide valuable information. We are particularly interested in exactly how and when the rockets were destroyed in the pit near the Khamisiyah ammunition depot. If you have any information about the ammunition depot at Khamisiyah, Iraq, also known as "Tall al Lahm" or by US forces as "Objective Gold," please call the Department of Defense, Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses, Incident Reporting Line, at: 1 (800) 472-6719.
Produced by the DCI Persian Gulf War Illnesses Task Force in coordination with DoD's Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses.