- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 8, 2003

LONDON, March 8 (UPI) — A report declassified by the United Nations revealed weapons inspectors recently discovered an Iraqi drone that could disperse chemical and biological weapons, The Times of London said Saturday.

The unmanned vehicle "could drop chemicals on troops," according to the U.N. report. Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix did not inform the U.N. Security Council about the drone, angering U.S. officials and raising questions about his objectivity, the Times said.

The drone has a wingspan of more than 24 feet,suggesting an illegal range that could threaten Iraq's neighbours with chemical and biological weapons.

U.S. officials were outraged that Blix did not mention the drone in his oral presentation Friday to foreign ministers of U.N. member nations and tried to bury it in a 173-page single-spaced report distributed later in the day.

"Officials at the inspection site stated that the drone had been test-flown," the U.N. report said. "Further investigation is required to establish the actual specifications and capabilities of these RPV drones."

In another section of the declassified report, arms inspectors warn that Iraq still has spraying devices and drop tanks that could be used in dispersing chemical and biological agents from aircraft, the Times said.

The report details the possible chemical and biological arsenal that British and U.S. forces could face in an invasion of Iraq. The report suggests that Iraq has huge stockpiles of anthrax, may be developing long-range missiles and could possess chemical and biological bombs and Scud missiles, and even smallpox.




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