Sarin Gas Released by Iraq Roadside Bomb

Fox News/AP: Sarin Gas Released by Iraq Roadside Bomb

A roadside bomb containing sarin nerve agent exploded near a U.S. military convoy, the U.S. military said Monday. Two people were treated for “minor exposure,” but no serious injuries were reported.

“The Iraqi Survey Group confirmed today that a 155-millimeter artillery round containing sarin nerve agent had been found,” said Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt (search), the chief military spokesman in Iraq. “The round had been rigged as an IED (improvised explosive device) which was discovered by a U.S. force convoy.

“A detonation occurred before the IED could be rendered inoperable. This produced a very small dispersal of agent,” he said.

The incident occurred “a couple of days ago,” he said.

The Iraqi Survey Group (search) is a U.S. organization whose task was to search for weapons of mass destruction after the ouster of Saddam Hussein in last year’s invasion.

The round was an old `binary-type’ shell in which two chemicals held in separate sections are mixed after firing to produce sarin, Kimmitt said.

Bizarre. Sarin is one nasty agent and it’s amazing that this weapon was detonated with no result. The current theory, apparently, is that whoever detonated the weapon did so not realizing it contained nerve gas. Which, of course, raises some interesting questions about how Saddam’s weapons were stored and whether this is evidence that the “missing WMDs” are in fact around or if this came from abroad.

Command Post has running off-air updates on the situation.

I’d note that, although Drudge has this in small text atop his page and has therefore discovered the story, Alexandria Kerry’s breasts still dominate the page. That either says something about Drudge’s priorities or about the relative importance of the Sarin episode.

Update: WaPo is downplaying the story as well, carrying the same AP report with a different headline, although emphasizing the killing of the president of the Iraqi Governing Council rather than the aforementioned Kerry boobs.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. patience says:

    Everyone has been burned too much over the WMD lies. Colin Powell’s acknowledgement thatprewar intelligence was a phony on Meet The Press on Sunday, shows the changes in the wind. Look for Colin Powel to take center stage in our foreign policy aparatus in the coming days.

  2. Dave says:

    Nothing odd about the sarin disappating at all. One , the round was a binary, so the mix was imperfect at best.Secondly, sarin is a non persistant agent, sort of a steroid based Real Kill. It has to be put into a proper enviornment. And, uh , patience, did Clinton and his cronies lie about WMDs as well? Or are you just another DU waste?