The question as to whether or not Iraq actually used chemical weapon-loaded Scud missiles during the 1991 Gulf War is still an open one. Further to this, there still remain outstanding questions about the claims that Iraq possessed illegally-retained Scud Missiles in the period prior to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. There is no complete record to draw upon and no one organisation has ever been seen to have compiled an exhaustive and comprehensive analysis.

- A review by a former member of the Dhahran Scud Watchers Club

1991 Iraqi Scud Missile Counts - Various Sources

N.B. Dates and times are referenced from the commencement of the war at 'H-hour', which was determined
to be 7:00 P.M. January 16th 1991 by Eastern Standard Time in the United States of America.

83 Scud launches + 8 false alarms

(Log 'A')

Log A

(Original source unknown. Obtained by this writer in Saudi Arabia at the end of the 1991 Gulf War.)

This log lists 37 missiles against Israel, 44 against Saudi Arabia, and 2 elsewhere.

86 Scud launches

The account of the Gulf War and its effects, 'Britain and the Gulf Crisis', published in the Aspects of Britain series (H.M.S.O. Publications 1993, ISBN No. 0 11 701734 5), written by the Central Office of Information with assistance from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence, states the fact that Iraq launched a total of 86 Scud missiles before the suspension of hostilities, 40 against Israel, 44 against Saudi Arabia, and 2 in the direction of Bahrain and Qatar.

The book 'The Fury of Desert Storm, The Air Campaign' by Bert Kinzey (1991, ISBN No. 0-8306-3078-3 (p)), published by TAB Books in the United States of America and distributed in Airlife Publications Ltd in the U.K., gives the same numbers.

This book contains a chart giving a daily breakdown of SCUD launch numbers, which is reproduced here:

FDS chart

This information breaks down for the period January 17th through to the 27th as follows:

(January 17th - 0 )
(January 18th - 7 )
(January 19th - 4 )
(January 20th - 2 )
(January 21st - 7 )
(January 22nd - 8 )
(January 23rd - 5 )
(January 24th - 0 )
(January 25th - 10 )
(January 26th - 6 )
(January 27th - 0 )

88 + Scud launches

From the DoD GulfLINK website at:

DoD 001

DoD 002

(Note: A difference of nine missiles exists between Space Command's 97 missile count and the more general DoD 88 missile count. It is also to be noted (from the above chart relating to Iraq's admissions to UNSCOM) that 51 and 43 added together make 94 and not 93.)

See: United States Space Command Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm Assessment January 1992 (7.16 Mb download)

This released declassified version document is heavily redacted and contains no useful information (I.E. Section 8, Appendices 8.3, Scud Missile Statistics, hand annotated TABLE 8.1 SCUD STATISTICS, pages 74, 75, 76, completely removed, annotated b(1).).

93 Scud launches

(Highlighting by SCUDWATCH)

Reproduced from United Nations document S/1997/774:

UN 93 I

Reproduced from United Nations document S/1999/94:

UN 93 II

The introductory summary of an information paper originally published on July 27th 2000 by the United States Department of Defense's Office of the Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Gulf War Illnesses, entitled 'Iraq's Scud Ballistic Missiles', states:

'Iraq's Scud attacks involved 88 missiles, of which 46 reached Coalition countries in the Kuwait theatre of operations and 42 reached or closely approached Israel. A few more probably failed early in flight and struck within Iraq's borders. Iraq told United Nations inspectors after the war that they launched 93 ballistic missiles, 50 against the Coalition in the Kuwait theatre of operations and 43 against Israel.'

The document, 'British Chemical Warfare Defence during the Gulf Conflict (1990-91)', published on December 7th 1999 and available from the Ministry of Defence's Internet web-site, states the following at footnote number 7:

'Although Iraq has claimed that they fired 93 SCUD missiles during the Gulf conflict there is no evidence that any of them were fired with chemical warheads.'

From: 'Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction - The Assessment of the British Government'

HMG 001

102 Scud launches

From: UK Ministry of Defence

Originally from: now at:

MoD 001

(Note: This account gives a figure of 46 missiles fired towards Saudi Arabia in January alone, whilst the U.S DoD Gulflink account (above) gives the same number repeatedly against the entire Kuwait theatre of operations for January and February combined.)

Scud missile count - 1991 Gulf War - from various sources:

US Department of Defense = 88+?

Iraq / UNSCOM / H.M. Govt. September dossier (p.16) = 93

US Space Command = 97

UK Ministry of Defence = 102

Unaccounted for Soviet Scuds = 2

Unaccounted for Iraqi indigenous Scuds = 7

Unaccounted for 'special' chemical warheads = 9

(102-93 missiles = 9) (97-88 missiles = 9) (7+2 missiles = 9) (79-70 warheads = 9)

UN 'Cluster Document' unaccounted for 'training' missiles = 7 of 14 or 14?

(102-88 missiles = 14)