OT: Jane's Defence weekly says Chemical weapons now being used by Serbsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Jane's Defence weekly says Chemical weapons now being used by Serbs
Yugoslav Serb forces are using chemical weapons (CW) to drive ethnic Albanians from their Kosovo villages and defeat the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), recent reports indicate.
NATO officials last week received a report from a doctor working with one of the humanitarian relief agencies who said he had treated five refugees with blistering burns that appear to have come from a CW attack, US Department of Defense (DoD) officials said.
"We don't have independent intelligence about these incidents, but we do have reports from refugees that chemical agents have been used," DoD spokesman Ken Bacon said on 28 April.
"The Kosovo Liberation Army is now trying to acquire gas masks and other protective equipment that they can use in their operations in Kosovo", Bacon continued.
Chemical weapons were stockpiled by the former Yugoslav communist government. In 1988 the Yugoslav Army tested 155mm shells filled with deadly sarin gas and mustard gas, a blister agent. Experts believe Belgrade continues to pursue CW development with the aid of Iraq.
After Mostar was ceded to Bosnia in 1992, a Serb CW research facility was hastily relocated to Yugoslavia. The new facilities are believed to posses at least 30 tons of sarin gas precursor and another 30 tons of sarin gas, experts say. According to John Eldridge, editor of Jane's Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence, "what is of a greater concern is [the Serb] stockpile of BZ, or 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate".
An incapacitating agent, BZ is a powder that is easy to load into an explosive munition. Often compared to LSD, BZ produces hallucinations. One milligram of BZ can produce a delirium that lasts up to three days, experts say. KLA or even NATO soldiers hit with BZ could become "maniacal, or lose interest in the fight," Eldridge said.
The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention strictly forbids the use of BZ, sarin gas and most other CWs. It also specifically bans the use of CS as a "method of warfare". The USA has unilaterally reserved the right to use CS in narrowly defined defensive situations, such as rescuing downed pilots behind enemy lines.
Last month US President Clinton warned Yugoslavia NATO's response to any use of CW would be "swift and overwhelming".
Yugoslav CW facilities were believed to be off NATO's target list thus far into Operation 'Allied Force', but officials have indicated that may now change.
Serbian Chemical Weapons Capability
The Yugoslav Army Chemical Weapons programme was started in 1958 by the Mostar Section of the Military Technical Institute, located at the village of Potocui - some 10km north of Mostar.
Work to develop experimental production facilities for Sarin, a non-persistent lethal nerve gas agent, and sulphur mustard, a persistent blister type casualty agent started in 1960 - small scale industrial production of the agents started in 1967.
Some 15 tonnes of gas phosgene, a non-persistent lethal choking agent, was undertaken between 1959-65 then moved to Krusevac. During the mid-1970s and until 1989 respiratory irritant agents CS and CS1 were produced in significant commercial quantities.
Programmes for the small scale production of the mental incapacitant agent BZ and chloropicrin, a choking agent, started between 1980-84. Laboratory quantities of other chemical weapons including the nerve agents Soman, Tabun, VX and DFP, the blister agents nitrogen mustard and Lewisite, and the blood agent cyanogen chloride were also produced.
All documentation concerning the chemical weapons programme was moved to Belgrade in 1991. All the plant and technical equipment at the Potoci site were dismantled in 1992 and moved to Lucani where the facility is believed to have been reassembled. It is likely that the chemical weapon functions were restarted around 1995-96.
A chemical weaponisation research and development programme, codenamed 'Jastrebac', was undertaken at the Potoci site and other places between 1975-88. Following extensive trials with various weapon delivery systems the following were approved for service: 122mm artillery shells (filling approximately 1.8 litres either Sarin or sulphur mustard); 128mm calibre rocket (for multiple rocket launch systems - filling 2 litres of Sarin); and 100kg BAD-100 aerial bomb (filling 20 litres Sarin)
Small quantities of these munitions may have been produced for incorporation into a Yugoslavian chemical weapon stockpile. A small trial quantity of Sarin-filled 120mm mortar bombs was also produced as part of the experimental weaponisation programme and this has also been stockpiled.
CS and CS1 agents were weaponised in a separate programme which resulted in the production of smoke pots, hand grenades, rifle grenades, backpack sprayers and aircraft spray tanks as delivery systems. These crowd control systems have been used extensively over the years by the Yugoslavian Army and police forces.
-- a (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 10, 1999
Shades of Sadam.
-- Diane J. Squire (email@example.com), May 10, 1999.
Sifting through propaganda is tough.
Could be true...which would be totally disasterous for Yugoslavia.
Or it's spin, propaganda and an attempt to keep NATO together and foster international anger against Milosevich, especially after this Chineese embassy bombing. Or even worse... being perpetrated by NATO to further it's goals against Serbia.
...or to keep Clintons political viability alive in the face of mounting failures and increased dissension at home and abroad.
I'd put NOTHING past him, or the other Leftists running the NATO show.
-- INVAR (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 10, 1999.
I'm a paramedic and I've seen PLENTY of stuff that could be mistaken for CW. Triage is triage and really that's all these people are getting NATO officials last week received a report from a doctor working with one of the humanitarian relief agencies who said he had treated five refugees with blistering burns that appear to have come from a CW attack, US Department of Defense (DoD) officials said.
"We don't have independent intelligence about these incidents, but we do have reports from refugees that chemical agents have been used,"
Man if I was a refugee I would say almost anything had been used.
-- Johnny (email@example.com), May 10, 1999.
One milligram of BZ can produce a delirium that lasts up to three days, experts say. KLA or even NATO soldiers hit with BZ could become "maniacal,
Ummm . . . Err . . . Uhh . . . How much of this stuff would be necessary for 1.5 presidential terms??
-- Same as b4 (NWPhotog@Foxcomm.net), May 10, 1999.
Jane's Defence Weekly has a very solid and long-standing reputation for factual reporting. It in no way emulates People,
, Time, or the National Enquirer.
-- Tom Carey (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 11, 1999.
Invar - I'll second Tom on that - JDW is generally above reproach - if they print it, it's the best current info available....though one needs to consider that with the bombing of various chemical plants, petroleum facillities and such there would also be the release of caustic/burning agents associated with various of their industrial processes...
same as - BZ is aerosol delivered LSD...sometimes an LSD cocktail with various contaminants mixed in. The report is essentially correct, though if they start using it in large quantities we should start to see a bunch of complete psyche cases coming out of the combat zone - folks who get hit with a little bit trip for days, those who are directly under one of the shells when it bursts, well......
-- Arlin H. Adams (email@example.com), May 11, 1999.