Arms Cache Archive: Iraq, October 2008

Documents: Arms caches seized in Iraq, October 2008

Source: U.S. Department of Defense

Notes: mortarAs part of ongoing efforts to improve understanding of illicit small arms, Small Arms Survey has acquired dozens of US government storyboards (succinct summaries) on arms caches discovered in Iraq. The following storyboards, which the Survey recently discovered on US Central Command’s website, summarize notable caches seized by US and Iraqi troops in October 2008. The documents were supposed to be released with similar storyboards in response to a 2009 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted by the Survey. Instead, they were misfiled with responsive documents from an unrelated request.

The storyboards are useful for analyzing patterns in the acquisition of weapons by armed groups, identifying potential violations of arms embargoes, and corroborating – and expanding on – information in weapons identification guides.

The documents are posted as received from the responding agency. For more  information on illicit weapons in Iraq, see Surveying the Battlefield: Illicit Arms in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia, and the following analysis by former Naval EOD officer John Ismay: Insight into How Insurgents Fought in Iraq and The Most Lethal Weapons Americans Faced in Iraq.

For more on Chemical weapons in Iraq, see ‘Chemical Weapons in Iraq: Revealing the Pentagon’s Long-held Secrets‘ by CJ Chivers.

Below are links to

1) Khadamiyah, 3 October 2008.

Items: (1) Iranian Rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), (1) RPG launcher, and (1) propellant; (1) Iraqi hand grenade. Includes photos of markings on the RPG, launcher, and propellant.


2) Unspecified location, 4 October 2008. Summary of 20 seized caches.

Items: Nearly 1400 mortar rounds (mostly Iraqi); 10 Russian AT-3B anti-tank guided missiles; (2) Russian PT-76 main guns; small caliber ammunition; IED components; and various other items.

3) Adhamiyah, 6 October 2008. Items found in a bag hidden in a trash piGrenadesle.

Items: (1) Iranian and (6) Russian hand grenades; (1) fuze. Hand grenades were in ‘excellent condition,’ according to the summary. Includes photo of markings on Iranian grenade.

4) Unspecified location, 8 October 2008.

Items: (269) 122 mm rockets; 200,000 DSHKA rounds; HME; various other items. Photo of the markings on one of the rockets. 

5) Sadr City, 9 October 2008. Large cache consisting of weapons and ammunition made in at least nine different countries (Bulgaria, China, Greece, Iraq, Italy, Russia, United Kingdom, United States, Yugoslavia).

Items: Artillery rockets; improvised rocket launcher; landmine; mortar rounds; RPGs; explosively formed penetrators (EFPs); and various other items.

6) New Baghdad, 11 October 2008. Troops found improvised rocket launchers in a courtyard while pursuing a suspected insurgent.

Items: (7) improvised rocket launchers; AK-47; small arms ammunition.

7) New Baghdad, 13 October 2008. Cache of EFPs found under the floor boards of an abandoned house.

Items: (12) EFPs of various sizes (4″ to 12″); PKC machine gun; ‘AK-47’ rifle; IED components; (200) armor-piercing ammunition rounds.

8) New Baghdad, 14 October 2008.

Items: (1) copper-lined encased EFP; (2) 82 mm mortar rounds; (1) 130 mm artillery round.

9) West Rashid, 14 October 2008.

Items: (1) 8″ EFP; (2) improvised rocket launchers; (1) US smoke grenade; (1) 60 mm mortar round; small arms ammunition; various other items.

10) New Baghdad, 15 October 2008. EFPs found in an abandoned mosque.

Items: (2) 8″ copper-plated EFP inside PVC pipe; (1) Steel-plated EFP encased in foam;  command wire.

11) East Rashid, 18 October 2008. Cache of artillery rockets found across from an Iraqi police station.

Items: (21) 107 mm rockets, including 11 of Iranian origin.


12) Sadr City, 21 October 2008. Summary of five caches found during cordon and search operations. Two of the caches were found behind false walls in an automobile repair shop.

Items: (351) mortar rounds, including (15) Iranian M48 120 mm rounds and (21) Iranian 60 mm rounds; (1) 120 mm mortar tube; (2) 81 mortar tubes; (4) 60 mm mortar tubes, including (2) Iranian mortar tubes;  (9) Iranian 107 mm rockets; (4) Chinese Type 63 107 mm rockets; (2) Iranian 107 mm multi-launch rocket launchers; (9) 9RPGsM22U 122 mm rockets; (5) Iranian 122 mm rockets; (1) 40 mm grenade launcher; (5) 40 mm grenades; (7) anti-tank landmines; (3) PG-7M RPG rounds; (1) Iranian 85 mm RPG round; (1) Iranian RPG launcher; (18) RPG-7V launchers; (1) Remote RPG launcher; (17) PG-22 rockets; (7) PG-18 rockets; (7) 12.7 mm DSHK-38 machine guns; (5) 12.7 mm machine gun tripods; (3) remote firing machine gun mounts; (11) homemade silencers; small arms ammunition; (1) remote car IED; (1) 5″ x 8″ dual array EFP; (1) NBC mask; (250) national police uniforms; (44) US ACU [Army Combat Uniform] Blouses; (43) US ACU pants; IED components; explosives; radios; armor plates; brassards; and other items. Includes lot numbers, manufacture dates, and serviceability assessments for several items.

13) Nubai, 23 October 2008.

Items: (18) 155 mm empty chemical weapons rounds; (5) 155 mm filled chemical munitions. According to the summary, filled rounds ‘…were key feature identified and were assessed to be filled by slosh test […] unknown agent but due to the proximity to the previous cache site, these are likely filled with sulfur mustard.’ See also CJ Chivers’ summary of this and related events in ‘Chemical Weapons in Iraq: Revealing the Pentagon’s Long-held Secrets.’

14) West Rashid, 23 October 2008.

Items: (27) Copper cylinders for EFPs.

15) Unspecified location, 24 October 2008.

Items: (1) 6 1/2″ copper EFP.

16) Sadr City, 28 October 2008.cache

Items: (14) Iranian 107 mm rockets; (11) Iranian 60 mm mortar rounds; (180) 1.25 lb Iranian C4; 1 lb Iranian TNT; (1) Steel EFP; (3) Pneumatic presses; (1) manual press; (2) air compressors; dozens of components for EFPs and improvised rocket launchers.

17) West Rashid, 28 October 2008. Large cache found in an ‘abandoned building on [a] NP [national police] compound.’

Items: (1) Iranian 107 mm rocket; (1) Chinese 107 mm rocket; (1) USSR 57 mm S5K rocket; (2) Iranian 81 mm M91 mortar rounds; (5) Iranian 120 mm M48 mortar rounds; (26) Iraqi 60 mm M73 mortar rounds; (2) Yugoslav 60 mm M73 mortar rounds; (2) USSR OG-9M rounds; (2) USSR RKG-3M grenades; Iranian fuzes and various other items.  Includes photos of the markings on two of the Iranian mortar rounds and the Iranian 107 mm rocket.


18) Khadamiyah, 31 October 2008.

Items: (2) partial IEDs; (2) 3″ EFPs; (1) 8 EFP array made of 3″ EFPs.

Arms Cache Archive: Iraq, October 2008