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US Troops Inspect Possible Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction Sites Near Syrian Border - 2003-04-12


The Pentagon says U.S. forces have inspected key sites in western Iraq where it was suspected weapons of mass destruction might be stored.

The inspections took place near the town of al-Qaim, near the Syrian border. General Richard Myers, Chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, says fighting there is subsiding and it appears Iraqi leaders in the town are poised to surrender.

General Myers does not explain how the inspections still managed to go ahead with the town not yet in coalition control. He also declines to say what was found. "We have done our sensitive site exploitation of the sites that we were interested in, were in there and have looked at them. Results pending," he said.

U.S. officials suspected Iraq might have missiles in al-Qaim, possibly with chemical or biological warheads, that it could fire into neighboring countries or at American forces. There was also a uranium extraction facility in the area that officials wanted to visit.

General Myers reports most Iraqi resistance has now collapsed throughout the country with just a few targets remaining, mainly in Tikrit north of Baghdad.