The Secret Victims of Iraq’s Chemical Arms

Aged shells and warheads. Officers who ordered wounded troops to silence. Substandard medical care (and even denial of treatment) to Iraqis and Americans who were exposed. American-designed mustard shells in the corroded vestiges of Saddam Hussein’s old chemical stockpile.  Honors denied to troops who served in some of the most dangerous jobs of the most recent Iraq War.

On The New York Times: An untold chronicle of the United States’ long and bitter involvement in Iraq.

From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.

In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

An investigation many months in works, and at last in print. Heres why:  

Reporting was contributed by John Ismay, Duraid Ahmed, Omar al-Jawoshy, Mac William Bishop and Eric Schmitt. Alain Delaquérière contributed research.

Produced by Craig Allen, David Furst, Alicia DeSantis, Sergio Peçanha, Shreeya Sinha, Frank O’Connell, Derek Watkins and Josh Williams.

With editing by Michael Slackman and Matt Purdy, and photographs by Tyler Hicks


Leaking 155-mm mustard agent shells among those that wounded five American soldiers near Taji, Iraq in 2008


It started with a request many of you have emailed us about – wanting to browse all the jams someone has posted.

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Tiny infographic #13
For every 100 smartphone users, 71 people practise open defecation
»> Over one billion people lack sanitation facilities and continue a practice that poses serious health and environmental risks to themselves and entire communities. (UN Development goals report 2013)
»> By the end of 2013, 1.4 billion smartphones would be in use, according to a new study by ABI Research.


Mobile Payments in Africa. Data via the Pew Research Centre, 2013.