Friday, May 30, 2003

Failed Iraq Arms Hunt Stumps Top Marine

Yahoo News AP -- The top commander of U.S. Marines in Iraq said Friday he is surprised that extensive searches have failed so far to discover any of the chemical weapons that American intelligence had indicated were supplied to front line Iraqi forces at the outset of the war.

Lt. Gen. James Conway, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said in a video teleconference from his headquarters in southern Iraq that he was convinced before and during the war that at least some Republican Guard units had been provided with chemical weapons.

"It was a surprise to me then — it remains a surprise to me now — that we have not uncovered weapons, as you say, in some of the forward dispersal sites," he told reporters at the Pentagon

"Believe me, it's not for lack of trying," he added. "We've been to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad, but they're simply not there."

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