The New York Times reports that American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered chemical weapons from Saddam Hussein’s rule, and were wounded by them on at least six occasions, between 2004 and 2011. Troops secretly reported finding close to 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, it says. The report is based on interviews with soldiers and officials, as well as redacted intelligence documents (available here.) It says the finds were kept secret from the public and not circulated widely within the military, and some soldiers who were wounded had their injuries covered up, even to the extent of being denied treatment. Most of the areas where weapons were encountered are reportedly now under ISIS control. A large fraction of the weapons were not in serviceable condition, and did not disperse the chemical agents over more than a limited area when they were ruptured. But some of the weapons can still be serviceable in IEDs. Former Army sergeant on hand for the destruction of mustard shells:
I love it when I hear, ‘Oh there weren’t any chemical weapons in Iraq.’ There were plenty.