Iraq loaded Scud missiles with lethal chemicals during the Persian Gulf War but lacked the technical skills to use the rockets effectively in battle, a defense expert said Tuesday.
“No one knows whether it really would have worked,” said Lt. Matthias Haydn, part of a three-member Austrian team that visited Iraq on two U.N. inspection tours.
The Scuds were discovered about 60 miles north of Baghdad during the team’s 19-day visit ending Sept. 11. The missiles were “prepared and in part loaded” with poisonous chemicals, Haydn said.
During the second mission, which ended Nov. 5, inspectors found bombs and shells at other sites loaded with chemicals.
The finds included mustard gas and sarin, a liquid that quickly vaporizes. Both chemicals paralyze breathing abilities, he said.
Iraq fired dozens of Scuds with conventional warheads during the war.