CNN SUNDAY MORNING
U.S. Military Reports Possible Chemical Weapons Find in Iraq
Aired April 27, 2003 - 11:08 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KELLI ARENA, CNN ANCHOR: Some new information out of Iraq about a possible chemical weapons find. Of course, we know that there have been many false positives before. My colleague, Nic Robertson joins us from Baiji, Iraq with the very latest. Nic, what do we know?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kelli, I think it is important to preface this, that it is the initial results at this stage. But the 1st Squadron of the 10th Cavalry who have made those first analyses believe that they have a positive test for a blister agent and a positive test for cyclosarin, a nerve agent. They made those tests in a site discovered on Friday night. It was a field site.
They say what makes this different from other sites that have been investigated so far, that it wasn't an industrial site. It was a site out in a field. The field appeared to have a military application, because sand berms have been dug. We've seen that around Iraq where tanks have been positioned, armored personnel carriers belonging to the Iraqi army have been positioned.
The drums were found behind those sand berms, very close to the drums there were some missiles, some ground-to-ground missiles, some surface-to-air missiles as well. They believe, they say they've discovered very close to the drums, as well, about 150 gas masks. What makes these particular gas masks different from previous discoveries is that they are of high quality. They discovered some mobile laboratories where they believe chemicals could have been mixed. And they've also discovered some chemical charts showing dosages of use for some chemical weapons.
Now the cavalry, the 10th Cavalry have now handed off this site to the sensitive site exploitation unit, and this is the team that will continue doing further tests. At this time those drums, 10 to 14 drums still on the site. The sensitive site exploitation team still doing their investigation, and will likely be a little longer before positive final results are known. Kelli?
ARENA: Nic, how long? Have they given you any indication how long those tests will take to come back with an answer either way?
ROBERTSON: Well, some of the tests they'll replicate in the field, the sensitive exploitation team will replicate some of the tests done by the 10th Cavalry. But they will also have to send samples back to the United States for further analysis. So it could be a number of days. They're not putting a time line on it here, but it will be reasonable to think it will be at least three or four days before they would be able to give a better and fuller assessment, Kelli.
ARENA: All right. Thanks so much, Nic, with that developing story.
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