— AS SAYLIYA CAMP, Qatar (Reuters) - The United States said on
Sunday there had been reports of some Iraqi forces with chemical
weapons near the town of Kut, about 105 miles southeast of Baghdad.
U.S. Lt. Gen. John Abizaid told a news briefing at Central
Command headquarters in Qatar that he expected invading U.S.-led
forces to find weapons of mass destruction when they occupy Baghdad,
but it would "take some time" to root them out.
The U.S.-British invasion of Iraq was prompted by Iraq's refusal
to give up alleged weapons of mass destruction.
"We should not expect to immediately come across it," Abizaid
said. "Although there are reports that some units in the vicinity of
Al Kut may have some type of chemical weapons and, of course, we're
taking the necessary precautions to deal with that."
It was not immediately clear where the reports came from.
"I have no doubt we'll find weapons of mass destruction, but you
shouldn't think it's going to happen tomorrow."
Analysts believe Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has chosen not to
use chemical or biological weapons for fear of massive reprisals, or
perhaps because he is waiting until Baghdad and other key strategic
points come under attack.
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