Skip main navigation

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

Skip subpage navigation

Possible Post War Use of Chemical War Agents Against Civilians by Iraq, May 10, 2000

Case Narrative Close-Out Reports are summaries of discontinued investigations into possible exposures of U.S. servicemembers to chemical or biological warfare agents during the Gulf War. The Office of the Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Gulf War Illnesses began this investigation of the possible post-war use of chemical warfare agents against civilians by Iraq in response to veterans’ concerns that US forces may have been exposed as a result.

The Presidential Special Oversight Board requested that we provide a summary of this investigation, which we did at a public hearing on Sept. 16, 1999. Based on that summary, the Board concluded that the information obtained to date, the emerging results, and the anticipated outcomes from continued investigation are not likely to improve our understanding of any unexplained illnesses. Consequently, the Presidential Special Oversight Board recommended terminating further investigation. In addition, to bring the investigation to closure, the Board requested that we complete a close-out report to present the data, documentary evidence, and findings compiled during the course of the investigation. The close-out report that follows complies with the Board’s recommendation, but if you believe you have additional information related to possible post-war use of chemical warfare agents by Iraq, please contact my office by calling1-800-497-6261.


I. Overview

Read the Oveview


II. Investigation

A. Scope


B. Background: Cease-fire and the Post-War Rebellion


C. Refugees' accounts of Possible Iraqi Post-War Use of Chemical Warfare Agents


D. U.S. Forces' accounts of the Rebellion and Possible Iraqi Use of Blister Agents


E. Capabilities and Limitations of Medical and NBC Specialists


F. Intelligence Assessments of Iraq’s Post-War Use of Chemical Warfare Agents


III. Significant Findings

This investigation has been unable to obtain definitive evidence to confirm or refute that Iraq used blister or any other kind of chemical warfare agents to suppress the post-war Shiia rebellion in southern Iraq or whether U.S. forces were exposed to these agents as a result. Additionally, it is doubtful continued investigation would produce findings more accurate or verifiable than those found thus far. This investigation makes these key findings:

A. Refugees' Accounts


B. U.S. Forces' Accounts


C. Medical




E. U.S. Intelligence Agencies


IV. Discussion

This investigation is closed. However, if you believe you have information that would change this report, please contact my office by calling 1-800-497-6261.

Read the Discussion


Tab A. Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary

This tab lists acronyms and abbreviations found in this report. Additionally, the glossary defines selected technical terms not found in common usage.

Acronyms & Abbreviations




Tab B. Bibliography

See the Bibliography


End Notes

View the End Notes

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery