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U.S. Demolition Operation at The Khamisiyah Ammunition Storage Point, Follow-Up Report: Dec. 5, 2000

Many veterans of the Gulf War have expressed concern that their unexplained illnesses may result from their experiences in that war. In response to veterans’ concerns, the Department of Defense established a task force in June 1995 to investigate incidents and circumstances relating to possible causes. The Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses assumed responsibility for these investigations on Nov. 12, 1996, and has continued to investigate reports of chemical warfare agent incidents.

To inform the public about the progress of these efforts, the DOD is publishing on the Internet and elsewhere accounts that may contribute to the discussion of possible causes of unexplained illnesses among Gulf War veterans, along with documentary evidence or personal testimony used in compiling the accounts. The narrative that follows is an update to the first such account regarding the events at Khamisiyah.


I. Methodology

Read Methodology


II. Summary

The story of Khamisiyah has three parts: United States military operations (including demolitions) at Khamisiyah; United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) inspections of Khamisiyah, which brought to light the presence of chemical weapons at various locations on and around the site; and The US government response to mounting indications that US soldiers may have destroyed chemical munitions at Khamisiyah—the details of what the Department of Defense knew, when it knew them, and the actions it has taken.

A. United States Military Operations at Khamisiyah


B. United Nations Special Commission on Iraq Inspections at Khamisiyah


C. The United States Government Response Regarding Illnesses of Gulf War Veterans


III. Narrative

This narrative, like the first report, is a chronological description of  the destruction of enemy munitions by US soldiers at Khamisiyah in March and April 1991, UNSCOM inspections, and the US government response to concerns of veterans with undiagnosed illnesses. This version added pre-Desert Shield activities and expanded the government's response into major sections.  This version first provides some background information and, then, relates the Khamisiyah story in four general time periods (Figure 3). The Pre-Desert Shield period covers a general history of Khamisiyah beginning in May 1976 through August 1990 which was not in the first report. The Desert Shield/Desert Storm Period continues in August 1990 and extends into February 1991 and describes the military events conducted in the vicinity of Khamisiyah. The third time period, late February, March, and April 1991, covers, in detail, the demolition activities at Khamisiyah. The narrative concludes with a description of US government actions from May 1991 through March 2000 in response to the revelations of demolition of chemical munitions at Khamisiyah.

A. Background


B. Pre-Desert Shield Period: May 1976 - August 1990


C. Desert Shield/Desert Storm Period: August 1990-February 1991


D. Demolition Operations: March - April 1991


E. United Nations Special Commission on Iraq Inspections: 1991-1992


F. Heightened Government Interest and Congressional Action: 1993-1994


G. Intensive United States Government Efforts Commenced: 1995


H. Department of Defense Announced Possible Chemical Weapons at Khamisiyah: January - September 1996


I. Determining Possible Troop Exposure: October 1996 - December 1997


J. Remodeling Effort: January 1998 - March 2000


IV. Analysis