The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), working with American troops during the occupation of Iraq, repeatedly purchased nerve-agent rockets from a secretive Iraqi seller, the New York Times reported.

This was part of a previously undisclosed effort to ensure that old chemical weapons remaining in Iraq did not fall into the hands of terrorists or militant groups, the daily said citing current and former American officials.
The extraordinary arms purchase plan, known as 'Operation Avarice', began in 2005 and continued into 2006, and the American military deemed it a non-proliferation success, the report said.
It led to the US' acquiring and destroying at least 400 Borak rockets, one of the internationally condemned chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein's Baathist government manufactured in the 1980s but that were not accounted for by UN inspections mandated after the 1991 Persian Gulf war, it said.
The effort was run out of the CIA station in Baghdad in collaboration with the Army's 203rd Military Intelligence Battalion and teams of chemical-defense and explosive ordnance disposal troops, officials and veterans said.

Latest News from World News Desk