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Al Najaf

March 25th, 2003

The story of a chemical weapons plant found at Al Najaf received wide coverage, the subsequent Pentagon statement that claims were ‘premature’ received a bit less, and this item seems to have run only in the Financial Times so far.

Department of Defense officials said on Monday that no evidence of chemical weapons production had been found at a facility close to the southern Iraqi town of Najaf occupied by US forces on Sunday

. It’s still possible that Saddam has some chemical weapons stashed around Baghdad for a last stand. But if so, it’s clear that, even in these extreme circumstances, deterrence is still working. The claim that Saddam’s weapons presented an imminent danger to the US or to Iraq’s neighbours has already been refuted by events.

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