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CIA Files Show U.S. Knew Of Chemical Attacks Before Helping Saddam Hussein

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is pictured Nov. 2, 1980. (AP)
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is pictured Nov. 2, 1980. (AP)

Foreign Policy magazine reports that recently declassified CIA files and interviews with former intelligence officials prove that “the U.S. had firm evidence of Iraqi chemical attacks” when the Pentagon provided intelligence data to the Iraqi regime.

Foreign Policy reporters Shane Harris and Matthew M. Aid say the crucial events happened in 1987 and 1988, during the protracted Iran-Iraq War.

The U.S. was committed to making sure that Iran did not win. In 1987, U.S. intelligence learned that Iran was planning an offensive that could turn the tide of war in its favor.

At that point, the U.S. decided to give Iraq detailed information, including satellite imagery, of Iranian troop deployments. Iraq followed with sarin attacks on the Iranian positions, something that Harris and Aid say the U.S. knew would happen.


Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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