US military official says threat of WMD use in Iraq now negligible

04 April 2003
The threat of Saddam Hussein's forces using chemical or biological weapons against coalition troops in Iraq has become negligible, Adam Mastrianni, intelligence official with the US 101st airborne division told AFP on 4 April. 'Now that we have penetrated Baghdad's outer ring, the likelihood is negligible,' he said. 'The commanding general of the 101st -gave the order -that soldiers in the division would be able to take off their anti-chemical and biological suits as of Friday morning.' Military sources quoted in the press had earlier speculated that there existed a 'red line' around Baghdad that, once crossed by coalition forces, would trigger the use of chemical or biological weapons. No such weapons have yet been discovered in Iraq. 'We thought, if he was going to use chemicals, the first major town he was going to use them in was Karbala,' said Mastrianni. 'The next major zone was when we penetrated outer Baghdad.'

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