British assisted destruction of Saddam Hussein's sarin chemical weapons in Iraq
By Graham Lanktree
August 18, 2015
In Iraq on 5 May 2006 the British military received five canisters filled with what experts suspected was the deadly neurological toxin sarin from an Iraqi source. Then they blew it up in the desert.
Military reports detailing Operation Bedouin II and Operation Bedouin earlier that year show that, like the CIA, the British military was destroying parts of Saddam Hussein's old chemical weapons stockpile. During the occupation of Iraq, Iraqis and others were moving these weapons about the country for potential sale to terrorists on the black market.
Details of these operations were revealed in documents published online last week (10 August 2015) by the UK's Ministry of Defence in response to a Freedom of Information request.
According to the Operation Bedouin II report, in May 2006, an Iraqi Security Forces source handed over five canisters that were once the payloads of Al Borak rockets in a padded cardboard box. The canisters were suspected to contain chemical weapons material as they met the profile of sarin-filled warheads.
Similar canisters found by the CIA between 2005 and 2006 contained sarin. The canisters were delivered to a Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence unit (CBRN) stationed in the south-eastern Iraqi province of Maysan, bordering Iran. Britain's only permanent base in the area was Camp Abu Naji. The unit soon destroyed the suspected chemical weapons with explosives in the desert.