Tags: Saddam's | Arsenal

Saddam's Arsenal

Thursday, 13 February 2003 12:00 AM

Paris, Moscow, Berlin, Brussels and Beijing all threaten to veto any U.N. move for the United States to war with Iraq. All of these worldly members have vowed to strike a blow for peace and not challenge Saddam Hussein. However, Saddam has more than just diplomacy to thank our global allies for.

Saddam is not one to settle for second best. Thus, Saddam had to arm his nation with the best military equipment the world could offer. Saddam's quest to arm his country led him on a shopping spree in Paris, Moscow, Berlin, Brussels and Beijing.

Iraq's best jet fighter was purchased from France. The Mirage F-1 is considered to be a state of the art strike-fighter capable of launching advanced missiles. France has sold over 700 Mirage F-1 fighters to over 11 nations. Iraq is estimated to have 60 F-1 fighters in its air force inventory.

The F-1 is capable of flying over twice the speed of sound and is normally armed with air-to-air missiles and twin 30 mm cannons. However, the F-1 also has a deadly strike capability.

A Mirage F-1 was used by Iraq to launch two Exocet anti-ship missiles that struck the USS Stark before the Gulf War, killing over 40 American sailors.

During the Gulf War, France sent a squadron of advanced Mirage fighters to assist the allied forces. However, the French fighter jets were effectively removed from the fighting area because their radar emissions matched the Iraqi F-1 jets.

Thus, the allied air commanders quarantined the French jets, not allowing them to fly combat missions over Iraq, because they feared the Mirage fighters would be mistaken as Iraqi and be shot down.

Iraq attempted to strike Saudi Arabia using two of its F-1 fighters during the Gulf War. The F-1s carried modified Exocet cruise missiles intended to strike at Saudi cities. Instead, the F-1 fighters were jumped by a Saudi Air Force F-15 Eagle and shot down, the only double kill during the entire war.

The F-1 also appeared recently in a short video shown by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to the United Nations. The Iraqi F-1 is shown testing a biological/chemical spraying system at low altitude. The F-1 video is a telling example of Iraq's illegal biological and chemical weapons program.

The effort and money expended to develop and test a spraying system for installation on a Mach 2 jet fighter is not something done on sheer whim. The difficulty and expense of modifying the top Iraqi jet fighter to carry biological and chemical weapons indicates a certain willingness to use these weapons. It also demonstrates the desire to acquire such weapon systems despite any U.N. ban.

Saddam purchased a large number of French-made Aerospatiale and Eurocopter helicopters for his army. Both the Aerospatiale and Eurocopter systems can deploy chemical weapons.

The Iraqi army is also well-equipped with what is considered to be the best artillery weapon in the world, the French-made 155 mm howitzer. The Iraqi army used its 155 mm guns during its war with Iran to fire chemical weapons as well as a large array of conventional munitions.

The biggest weapons supplier to Iraq is Russia. Iraq reportedly still owes Russia over $4 billion for arms purchases in the past 20 years. Obviously, if Saddam Hussein is removed from power, Russia is not likely to be paid for the past weapons sales.

The vast majority of Iraq's air force consists of Russian-made jet fighters. Iraq has nearly 200 Russian-made jet fighters including MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-25, Sukhoi SU-22 and Sukhoi SU-25 interceptors.

The Iraqi army is equipped with hundreds of Russian artillery pieces, rocket launchers, BMP armored vehicles, T-55 and T-72 tanks and Scud missiles. Most of Iraq's chemical arsenal, estimated at around 200 tons of nerve gas and mustard gas, is fired from Russian-made weapons.

For example, Iraq recently modified a MiG-21 jet fighter to act as a radio-controlled chemical sprayer. In addition, most of Iraq's air-delivered chemical weapons deployed in its long war with Iran came from the belly of MiG-21 and MiG-23 fighter jets.

Most of the estimated 100 tons of nerve gas that remains in Saddam's arsenal is thought to be stored in Russia-made bombs designed for the MiG fighters.

In addition, U.N. inspectors recently discovered empty rocket warheads designed to deploy nerve gas. The rocket warheads in question are part of a Russian missile system sold to Iraq.

One smoking-gun photograph that Colin Powell released to the U.N. was of the Iraqi chemical weapons compound at Al-Musayyib. The photos showed the Iraqis frantically removing chemical weapons from the facility. The area was later bulldozed and the topsoil removed to clear the area of any trace of chemical weapons.

The telltale sign that Al-Musayyib is a chemical weapons facility was the presence of Russian-made chemical decontamination vehicles that arrived to assist technicians dressed in Hazmat suits. It is only logical to conclude that the Iraqis were concerned for their safety, because one does not put on a Hazmat suit in the desert for the fun of it.

Saddam turned to Europe and China in order to construct his chemical weapons production facilities. German and Chinese chemical manufacturing equipment has been purchased over the years and embedded into the Iraqi commercial infrastructure. The intent was to make these facilities as civilian-looking as possible.

Israeli citizens discovered during the Gulf War that German-made electronics systems were found inside Scud missiles fired at Tel Aviv.

The German electronics allowed Iraq to modify the Scud missiles, making them more accurate, cheaper to produce and much more deadly.

Israel found that German-made electronics were the heart of the Iraqi Scud warhead fusing mechanism. The very same fusing mechanism was employed effectively by Iraq when a Scud fell on the U.S. Army barracks outside Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 28 American soldiers and wounding over 100 others.

Saddam turned to Belgium before the Gulf War in an attempt to improve his Scud missiles and to create a weapon never seen before in any military arsenal. Iraq contracted Canadian Dr. Gerald Bull to build a super-gun, using components manufactured in the U.K., Belgium, Germany and Italy. Dr. Bull's base of operations was Brussels, Belgium.

Belgian officials ignored repeated warnings from Iranian and Israeli intelligence officials that Dr. Bull was developing such a weapon for Saddam Hussein. Dr. Bull also assisted Iraq by improving the accuracy and range of its existing arsenal of Scud missiles.

Bull used weak Belgian export regulations to circumvent export bans against assisting Saddam's quest for super-weapons, trans-shipping much of the equipment for his super-gun and Scud projects through Brussels.

In the end, Bull paid for his assistance with his life. An unknown assailant assassinated him outside his Brussels apartment.

Saddam also turned to China in order to purchase the very finest in weapon systems. Iraq purchased a number of Chengdu F-7 fighter jets from Beijing and has managed to trans-ship spare parts made in China for its force of F-7 and MiG-21 fighters through illegal front companies in Jordan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

China also supplied Iraq with a large number of T-55 and T-58 tanks equipped with modern night-vision gun sights and laser range-finding systems. Somehow, the Iraqis keep these tanks in tip-top condition with an ample supply of Chinese-made spare parts.

It is well known that China sold Iraq the "Tiger Song" air defense system during the 1990s. Both Colin Powell and Condi Rice have stated that China sold Iraq its new air defense system.

The sale took place despite the fact that China also signed on to the U.N. ban on weapons sales to Iraq. NATO gave the system its name in 1998 after it was discovered to be operational in the Iraqi desert.

In 1994, German authorities seized a large shipload of ammonium perchlorate bound for Iraq. The Chinese Chemical Import-Export Corporation, a subsidiary of the People's Liberation Army, stated the chemical was bound for Baghdad as a food preservative. Anyone with half a brain knows that ammonium perchlorate is a lousy preservative but a key component in solid rocket fuel.

In 2001, the Chinese Shangdong Arts and Craft Company went to Baghdad in an effort to open trade ties between Iraq and China. Interestingly, the employees of the Shangdong Arts and Craft Company do not make art or craft supplies.

Instead, Shangdong Arts and Craft was a cover for Chinese army officers, who traveled to Baghdad in an effort to sell Saddam Hussein advanced missile technology.

If the U.S. does go to war with Iraq, one has to wonder what exactly will be found inside the secret weapons bunkers and labs of Saddam Hussein. It would certainly be no surprise if we found Saddam's most advanced weaponry had markers on it citing manufacture in France, Russia, Germany, Belgium and China.

© 2020 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

1Like our page
Paris, Moscow, Berlin, Brussels and Beijing all threaten to veto any U.N. move for the United States to war with Iraq.All of these worldly members have vowed to strike a blow for peace and not challenge Saddam Hussein.However, Saddam has more than just diplomacy to thank...
Thursday, 13 February 2003 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved