Tags: Iraq | Pentagon | Iraq | chemical weapons

Bremer: 'Serious Problem' If Troops Exposed to Chemical Weapons

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 03:41 PM

Exposure to chemical weapons by U.S. soldiers in Iraq is a "serious problem" if the Pentagon put troops at risk without letting them know of the danger, Paul Bremer, presidential envoy to Iraq under former President George W. Bush, told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."

The soldiers uncovered the weapons in 2004 to 2011 after the fall of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, reported The New York Times on Tuesday. The newspaper stated that "17 American service members and seven Iraqi police officers" were exposed to mustard or nerve gasses from the roughly 5,000 chemical munitions they found.

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"If it's true that the Pentagon was putting American soldiers in some risk by dealing with these chemical finds without telling them, I think that's a serious problem," Bremer, who also served as Ambassador to the Netherlands under Ronald Reagan, said Wednesday.

The weapons that troops found in Iraq were thought to have been manufactured before 1991, and United Nations officials suggest 2,500 chemical rockets remain in the ground, Fox News reported.

Bremer said the "broad takeaway" from the issue was that it showed that "Saddam still did have weapons of mass destruction in 2003 when we invaded," adding that the question now was whether "the Islamic State get its hands on some of this stuff."

Bremer said he doubted the chemical agents could be used "effectively as a weapon," because it appeared they were "fairly eroded or degraded." However, he said they still could be "dangerous to the person who handles them, which in this case would be IS soldiers."

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Exposure to chemical weapons by U.S. soldiers in Iraq is a "serious problem" if the Pentagon put troops at risk without letting them know of the danger, Paul Bremer told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
Pentagon, Iraq, chemical weapons
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2014-41-15
Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 03:41 PM
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