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Weapons Of Mass Destruction

Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 18 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps the Government will take to verify the origin of material linked to weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq. [111113]

Coalition forces in Iraq have dedicated resources to conducting investigations into sites, personnel, documentation and other forms of evidence that may be connected to programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The objective of these investigations will be to account for Iraqi WMD and related facilities and ensure that these are no longer a threat. Where possible and practicable, we will also aim to identify the origin of any materials linked to Iraqi WMD programmes where these materials may have been supplied in breach of sanctions imposed by the United Nations or other international agreements.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many alleged sites of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq identified by the Government are fully secured by coalition forces; and how many have yet to be (a) secured and (b) inspected. [113011]

As at 7 June 2003, Coalition forces had initiated investigations into 140 sites within Iraq, from a list of over 500, which may be connected to programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction. Additionally, investigations had been initiated into a further 74 sites identified since the conflict began. We anticipate that further sites will be identified as investigations progress. Where these sites are thought to contain materials which may relate to weapons of mass destruction programmes, or otherwise contain hazardous substances, Coalition forces are taking action to secure them.