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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Breaking: Russia Moved Missing RDX To Syria

Washington Times: Russia tied to Iraq's missing arms (Hat tip: Drudge)

Russian special forces troops moved many of Saddam Hussein's weapons and related goods out of Iraq and into Syria in the weeks before the March 2003 U.S. military operation, The Washington Times has learned.

John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, said in an interview that he believes the Russian troops, working with Iraqi intelligence, "almost certainly" removed the high-explosive material that went missing from the Al-Qaqaa facility, south of Baghdad.

"The Russians brought in, just before the war got started, a whole series of military units," Mr. Shaw said. "Their main job was to shred all evidence of any of the contractual arrangements they had with the Iraqis. The others were transportation units."

Mr. Shaw, who was in charge of cataloguing the tons of conventional arms provided to Iraq by foreign suppliers, said he recently obtained reliable information on the arms-dispersal program from two European intelligence services that have detailed knowledge of the Russian-Iraqi weapons collaboration.

Most of Saddam's most powerful arms were systematically separated from other arms like mortars, bombs and rockets, and sent to Syria and Lebanon, and possibly to Iran, he said.

The Russian involvement in helping disperse Saddam's weapons, including some 380 tons of RDX and HMX is still being investigated, Mr. Shaw said.

The RDX and HMX, which are used to manufacture high-explosive and nuclear weapons, are probably of Russian origin, he said.
This confirms Ion Mihai Pacepa's assertion that Russia hid Saddam's WMDs.

UPDATE: Anyone who denies the Russian presence in Iraq is lying: Russian convoy fired on in Iraq. (Hat tip: Kwik K)

FALLUJAH, Iraq (CNN) -- A convoy of vehicles carrying Russian diplomats and journalists came under fire Sunday as it headed out of Baghdad, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. ...

Alexander Minakov, who works with Rossiya TV (formerly RTR), said in a telephone report that he was in one of eight cars that set off from Baghdad at 11:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. ET), bound for the Syrian border. The vehicles carried 25 Russian diplomats, including Russia's ambassador to Iraq, and journalists who were trying to flee the country.
UPDATE: In case anyone forgot these Bolsheviks are wicked to the core, Military Wipes Out Russian GPS Jammers.

In a Monday morning telephone call to Putin, Bush raised his concerns over reports that Russians are actually on the ground in Iraq teaching Iraqi forces how to use prohibited hardware like night vision goggles, GPS jammers and anti-tank guided missiles, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.

"We have concerns. Those concerns have been expressed at the highest levels, and these concerns have been expressed repeatedly over the last -- quite some little while," Fleischer added.

A source told Fox News the GPS jammers in particular had slowed the bombing of Baghdad as the military has taken extra care to avoid hitting civilian targets.
Evidence cited of Russian arms in Iraq

WASHINGTON -- US officials have found evidence corroborating White House allegations that Russian companies sold Saddam Hussein high-tech military equipment that threatened US forces during the invasion of Iraq last March, a senior State Department official said yesterday.

The official said the United States has found proof that Russian companies exported night-vision goggles and radar-jamming equipment to Iraq, the official said. The evidence includes the equipment itself and proof that it was used during the war, according to the official. Such exports would violate the terms of United Nations sanctions against Iraq.

"We have corroborated some of that evidence," the official told a group of reporters.

While insisting that the matter is "now in the past," he said that the Bush administration "never received entirely satisfactory explanations" of its charges, and that the issue "is still a sensitive one in the relationship."

"It's an issue that, shall we say, did not do much for strengthening trust," the official added. ...

During the war, US military sources gave differing accounts on how much the Russian-made equipment affected US forces. Some military officials were quoted as blaming jamming gear for sending missiles off course and into Iran and Saudi Arabia, and as contending that Russian made Kornet antitank missiles destroyed at least two American M-1 A-1 tanks, the first time such tanks had been destroyed in battle.
Al-Reuters: Abrams Tank Hits Nasty Surprise for U.S. Forces.

DOHA - Among the many surprises that awaited the invading forces in Iraq was their enemy's ability to knock out the U.S. Army's most advanced battle tank.

Defense analysts believe the three -- perhaps five -- M1-A2 Abrams tanks which have been disabled so far appear to have been hit by a weapon far more potent than the decades-old RPG-7 rocket propelled grenade.

Instead, it seems the Iraqis -- who say they have knocked out dozens of U.S. tanks -- may be using the Kornet-E, an export version of a Russian laser-guided missile which can destroy tanks fitted with explosive reactive armor.

"We're pretty sure they do have them," said Robert Hewson, editor of Jane's Air-Launched Weapons. "It is a nasty surprise (for U.S. forces) and they will have to adapt their tactics. But it won't be a showstopper and it is no cause for huge alarm."

Where Iraq might have procured the Kornet-E in the face of a U.N. ban on weapons sales to the country is not clear.

The Interfax news agency said on Tuesday the Ukrainian foreign ministry had denied reports that Ukrainian firms had supplied several hundred such anti-tank missiles to Iraq.

According to the Web Site www.army-technology.com, the tripod-launched Kornet-E system has been sold to the Syrian army.

Last week Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, serving a blunt warning to Damascus, said Washington had information that night vision goggles and other military equipment was crossing from Syria into Iraq.
Blackfive: What the hell took out an Abrams Tank?.

Shortly before dawn on Aug. 28, an M1A1 Abrams tank on routine patrol in Baghdad “was hit by something” that crippled the 69-ton behemoth. Army officials still are puzzling over what that “something” was.

According to an unclassified Army report, the mystery projectile punched through the vehicle’s skirt and drilled a pencil-sized hole through the hull. The hole was so small that “my little finger will not go into it,” the report’s author noted.

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