Local News

What If Iraq Uses Chemical Weapons?

Posted November 18, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— While the standoff between the United States and Iraq continues, Iraq may be building up chemical and biological weapons. Before inspectors were kicked out they found and destroyed tons of chemical weapons.

The question of just how much threat these weapons pose is adding to the tension in the gulf. Officials aren't questioning whether the threat

No one really knows how much biological and chemical weapons would affect the masses, but one thing is certain -- Saddam Hussein has both. Biologically, Anthrax is the most lethal, causing a fatal disease in mere seconds. Dr. Deitrick Schroeer of the University of North Carolina says extremely small amounts can kill.

Serin gas caught the eyes of the world when terrorists attacked a subway in Japan. The gas found in Iraqi weapons is known as VX, a deadlier version of Serin.

Dr. Ernest Hodgson is a professor of toxology at North Carolina State University. He knows the deadly affects of VX gas.

Be they biological or chemical, Saddam Hussein likely has weapons at his disposal. The question is how many.

Saddam may already have had time to stockpile weapons during this latest standoff. Some scientists question the effectiveness of chemical and biological weapons because, in order to kill millions, the gas or bacteria has to be spread evenly, and that doesn't happen with one missile. Most agree, however, that chemical warfare could be deadliest if used by terrorists.

Photographer:Ed Wilson