Thursday, 22 February 2007

In Case You Hadn't Noticed...

From the New York Times :
A truck bomb that combined explosives with chlorine gas exploded in Baghdad on Wednesday, and officials said it may represent a new and deadly tactic by insurgents against Iraqi civilians. It was at least the third such attack in a month.

A pickup truck carrying canisters of the gas, which burns the skin and can be fatal after only a few concentrated breaths, exploded near a diesel station in southwestern Baghdad. The explosion killed at least 2 people and sent 32 wheezing, coughing victims to the hospital, Interior Ministry and medical officials said.
You'd think that the use of Poison Gas - a Weapon of Mass Destruction - by terrorists against civilians might just rate a bit more publicity. Especially since it's the third time. They're still practicing, they haven't gotten the mixture and dispersion pattern right yet to kill hundreds and wound thousands. But give them time, and they will.
The bombing involving chlorine gas on Wednesday followed an explosion on Tuesday north of Baghdad of a tanker filled with chlorine that had been rigged to explode, killing 9 people and wounding 148, including 42 women and 52 children. At least one other attack with chlorine occurred, based on the American military’s statements issued to describe attacks in Iraq, on Jan. 28 in the Sunni-dominated Anbar Province, when 16 people died after a dump truck with explosives and a chlorine tank blew up in Ramadi.

The attacks seem to have been poorly executed — burning the chemical agent rather than dispersing it — but Iraqi and American officials said they see a pattern emerging, an apparent effort to bring a new level of fear and havoc to Iraq as a new security plan for Baghdad takes shape.
Oh sorry, they're not "terrorists", they're "militants", at least, according to the NYT.

1 comment:

rjh said...

If you dig through the unclassified literature on chemical warfare you will find that chemical weapons generate fewer casualties pound for pound than explosives. Their primary use is area denial and (at first) terror. Once the novelty effect wears off and the targets learn the defenses, chemical warfare is much less effective than explosives.

The area denial effect remains, because you must wear those very inconvenient protective suits until the poisons are neutralized.