IK/157 SC/5754 22 November 1993 SPECIAL COMMISSION'S TEAM CONCLUDES ONSITE INVESTIGATION OF ALLEGED CHEMICAL WEAPONS USE BY IRAQ The following has been received from the Special Commission set up under Security Council resolution 687 (1991) in connection with the disposal of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction: The Special Commission's team sent to Iraq to investigate allegations of the use of chemical weapons in the southern marshlands north-west of Basrah concluded its on-site work on 21 November. It is now reviewing its findings and writing its report. No immediate evidence of the use of chemical weapons was obtained. However, a large number of samples were taken by the inspection team. A definitive finding on the question of use will not be reached until all the samples taken at the site have been analyzed. This might take some months. The team, led by Roger Hill of Australia and comprising nine experts, conducted its inspection of the site of the alleged chemical weapons attack on 20 and 21 November. During the inspection, the team conducted a thorough inspection of the site and took a large number of soil, water, flora and fauna samples which will be analyzed in various laboratories expert in the analysis of such samples. The team also inspected the area around the site of the alleged attack. Vehicles, boats and helicopters were used in the survey. During the inspection, the team did not find any immediate evidence of the use of chemical weapons. In the course of its inspection, the Commission has also obtained some documents, the authenticity and relevance of which are now subject to investigation. Analysis is expected to take some months to conclude. The Special Commission will not, until the results of these analyses are available, be in a position to arrive at a definitive conclusion on the question of whether chemical weapons were used or not. * *** * .