NEWS CENTER – Nerve agents are one of the worst chemical weapons out there. Death from neurotoxins is very painful and cruel. This is why this toxic warfare agent, which was produced in tons during Hitler’s fascism in Germany, was banned.
These warfare agents are currently being used by the Turkish occupying state, under the leadership of the fascist AKP-MHP regime, against the freedom fighters of the HPG and YJA Star. Despite the daily HPG reports that this information is revealed to the public on a daily basis, despite multiple calls and efforts by the PKK coordination, the KCK and the HPG, the world community is blind in the right eye and condones the use of this brutal weapon of mass destruction through their fascist partner Turkey.
It is clear that states protect only themselves, rather than society as they claim. Their inhuman mentality is particularly evident in this context. The mentality of the state, of capitalism and the male domination mentality is far removed from humanity and the defense of human rights. In this sense, society, whether in Kurdistan, in the Middle East, in Europe or in other parts of the world, has a duty to stand up and act with the conscience of a human being in the face of these cruel war crimes in order to make history impossible to repeat .
After yesterday we dealt with the history of the origin of chemical weapons in general and worked out which weapons were previously used against the guerrillas of freedom in Kurdistan. Today we will take a closer look at the neurotoxins that have already caused great massacres of the Kurds in the past and soaked the earth with blood.
The cruellest weapons within the framework of chemical weapons are certainly the warfare agents aimed at the nervous system. Once contaminated, treating those affected is very difficult and lengthy.
Nerve warfare agents are deadly even in the smallest amounts and are therefore dangerous. The entire body is the target, with absorption through the eyes, skin and respiratory organs in particular. Their effect is based on an intervention in the normal transmission of stimuli in the nerve tracts. In the case of nerve agents, an enzyme in the human nervous system is blocked so that important parts of the body are paralyzed by constant contraction, and strong muscle forces are also triggered. Signs of nerve agent poisoning are also sweating and vomiting, which can lead to respiratory paralysis and circulatory collapse.
Nerve agents include: Diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP), Sarin (GB), Tabun (GA), Soman (GD), Cyclosarin, VX and Novichok.
Tabun (C5H11N2O2P) is an ester of a doubly substituted phosphoric acid and structurally similar to many plant protection products such as organophosphorus insecticides, e.g. B. Methamidophos similar. It is a colorless to slightly brownish liquid with a fruity odor that resembles bitter almonds when heated. Hydrocyanic acid can be produced during use.
During the fascist Hitler regime, the German chemist Gerhard Schrader discovered this substance in 1936 while working for the I.G. Farben in Leverkusen, where he researched new pesticides. After six years Tabun was industrially produced. Near Breslau in Dyhernfurth, the German Wehrmacht and the SS began building a chemical weapons plant from the company I.G. Colors that were primarily aimed at making tabun. A total of 12,000 tons of tabun are said to have been produced there, which were further processed in the form of bombs and grenades. The further processing took place to a large extent in forced labor camps and was associated with numerous deaths of the forced laborers. However, it did not go to war during the Second World War.
After the defeat of the Hitler regime, the Wehrmacht stocks were sunk in the Baltic Sea, which today threaten the deep-sea fish stocks in the Baltic Sea, as the poison could leak from the now corroded containers. Stocks that were too far from the Baltic Sea were burned on site or buried in various places or dumped in lakes. To this day there are various places in Germany and Europe that have not been cleaned of these weapons to this day.
During the Iran-Iraq War and during the broader Operation Anfal, Saddam Hussein used tabun against the Kurdish population of northern Iraq, southern Kurdistan. The raw materials for Tabun had been supplied to the Saddam regime with the knowledge of the BND, among other things.
Tabun is a highly toxic substance and is life-threatening even in small amounts over a short period of time. Tabun can be absorbed through the skin, mucous membranes and inhalation. When inhaling gases, symptoms appear within a few seconds. When ingested via contaminated drinking water or skin contact, the effect can set in after minutes or hours. All neurotoxins cause their toxic effects by preventing the proper functioning of an enzyme that acts as the body’s “switch off” for glands and muscles. Without this “off switch”, the glands and muscles are constantly being stimulated. You become “tired” and can no longer maintain breathing function.
In order to protect yourself adequately against this warfare agent, full-body protection is necessary.
Although tabun has a faint fruity smell, the scent may not be noticeable enough to alert people enough. Individuals exposed to low or moderate doses of Tabun by inhalation, ingestion (swallowing), or skin absorption may exhibit some or all of the following symptoms within seconds to hours of ingestion. Unusually low or high blood pressure, Blurred vision, Chest tightness, Confusion, Cough, Diarrhea, Drooling and excessive sweating, Drowsiness, Eye pain, Headache, Increased urination, Nausea, vomiting and/or abdominal pain, Rapid breathing, Runny nose, Slow or rapid heart rate, small, pinpoint pupils, watery eyes, weakness. Even a small drop of some nerve agents like Tabun on the skin can cause sweating and muscle spasms where the drug touched the skin. Ingestion of a high dose of Tabun by any route can result in additional loss of consciousness, convulsions (seizures), paralysis, respiratory arrest, and death.
Of the three so-called G warfare agents (code: GA), tabun is the oldest, along with soman and sarin. After World War II, the US and UK took over tabun production, while the Soviet Union focused more on soman. Compared to the other G-substances (such as sarin, cyclosarin, soman), tabun has the lowest toxicity. Sarin is about 3-4 times and soman 10-15 times more toxic than Tabun.
Tabun is controlled as a “List 1” chemical in the International Disarmament Treaty CWC (Chemical Weapons Convention) by the UN authority responsible for this, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) based in The Hague. Production or possession are prohibited; this does not apply to work that exclusively serves to protect against these substances or for research.
(Sources: Wikipedia.de, chemie.de, https://flexikon.doccheck.com/de/Tabun, https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/tabun/basics/facts.asp)
The systematic designation for the chemical warfare agent sarin is methyl fluorophosphonic acid isopropyl ester or GB, since it comes from the G series of chemical warfare agents (G stands for Germany) and is a highly volatile, colorless and odorless liquid.
The substance was discovered in 1938 by a research group led by the German chemist Gerhard Schrader during research into phosphorus compounds for use as insecticides. Gerhard Schrader worked at Bayer AG in Germany in color research and began researching insecticides from 1936 during the Nazi era. Tabun and sarin could be produced on the one hand as an insecticide and on the other hand as a warfare agent in the same place. Sarin is structurally very similar to the pesticides parathion and malathion, as well as the warfare agents tabun, soman and VX gas.
Otto Ambros is also considered the inventor of sarin. The German chemist joined the NSDAP in 1937 and became a board member of I. G. Farben in 1938. Otto Ambros was later convicted as a war criminal. As with the warfare agent tabun, the German company I. G. Farben was the customer for research on sarin.
In July 1944, after sarin was discovered, 30 tons of sarin were produced in German factories for “test purposes”. At the end of World War II, two large mass production plants were under construction in Germany. The US and Soviet Union stockpiled large amounts of sarin during the Cold War.
In Iraq, on August 25, 1988, sarin was used in an attack as part of the Anfal operations. In addition, Iraq used sarin in the Gulf War against Iran. The nerve gas sarin was also used during the poison gas attack on the Kurdish population in the city of Helebçe (Halabja) in 1988.
Syria is said to have used sarin against its own population in Damascus in 2013 and in spring 2017. The OPCW investigated the incidents. Syria’s government was persuaded by international pressure to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention and destroy its own stocks of chemical weapons.
HOW IT WORKS
Nerve agents like sarin are deadly in very small amounts. The entire body is the target, with absorption occurring in particular via the eyes, skin and respiratory organs, with intake via the respiratory tract accounting for the vast majority, since sarin is considered a volatile warfare agent. In the body, sarin, like other nerve agents, blocks an enzyme in the autonomic nervous system (sympathetic nervous system) and on the neuromuscular junction (motor junction). This leads to an increase in a neurotransmitter in the synapse and thus to permanent irritation of the affected nerves.
Depending on the severity of the poisoning, the following symptoms occur: runny nose, blurred vision, narrowing of the pupils, eye pain, shortness of breath, drooling, muscle twitching and cramps, sweating, vomiting, uncontrollable stool, unconsciousness, central and peripheral respiratory paralysis and ultimately death. The effect on the eye already occurs at lower concentrations. This leads to visual disturbances such as the disruption of the near and far focus of the eye and the reduction of the pupil. These signs of intoxication are already appearing while other signs are not yet observed.
As a Schedule 1 chemical in the international treaty on disarmament, sarin is controlled by the relevant authority, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) based in The Hague.
Production or possession are prohibited; this does not apply to work that exclusively serves to protect against these substances or for research.
(Sources: Wikipedia.de, chemie.de)
The nerve agent Soman is one of the three nerve agents developed in Germany (Tabun, Sarin, Soman) and the most toxic and persistent among them. NATO uses the abbreviation “GD” for Soman. Soman, also known as methyl fluorophosphonic acid or (1,2,2-trimethylpropyl) methane fluorophosphonate, is chemically related to sarin and differs only slightly from sarin. Soman is a yellow-brown liquid that is said to smell camphearty (camphe is found in essential oils from various plants). Another report said soman was a clear, colorless, tasteless liquid with a faint camphor-like odor containing mothballs or rotten fruit. It may turn into steam when heated.
The German-Austrian chemist Richard Kuhn and his colleague Konrad Henkel discovered this nerve agent in the spring of 1944. By the end of World War II, only small amounts of soman were said to have been produced, which were brought to the Soviet Union after the end of World War II.
The Soviet Union manufactured soman in larger quantities under the name “R-55” during the Cold War. Soman was mixed with an organic polymer and made into a “thickened warfare agent”, so stored and made into ammunition. The thickened warfare agent soman, which resembles honey in mass, was called “VR-55” in the Soviet Union and had a higher tenacity (or sedentary nature) and toxic effect through the skin than unthickened soman.
HOW IT WORKS
After airborne release of soman, people may be affected by skin contact, eye contact, or breathing the soman (inhalation). Soman mixes easily with water; so it could be used to e.g. B. to poison drinking water. After releasing soman into water, people can be exposed to the venom by drinking contaminated water or getting contaminated water on their skin. Poisoning from foods tried with Soman is also possible. A person’s clothing can release soman upon contact with its fumes, which can also lead to poisoning of other people. Because soman fumes are heavier than air, they sink to low-lying areas, creating a greater risk of poisoning.
In the case of mild poisoning with Soman, headaches, shortness of breath, profuse sweating, severe visual disturbances combined with eye pain, increased production of nasal secretions, tears and saliva occur. In the case of moderately severe poisoning, there are also severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, eye pain, cramps and disturbances of consciousness. Severe poisoning with soman manifests itself in spasms of the skeletal muscles up to seizures, vomiting, severe shortness of breath, states of anxiety and confusion. There are also signs of paralysis. Death occurs due to the paralysis of breathing.
Soman is controlled as a “List 1” chemical in the International Disarmament Treaty CWC (Chemical Weapons Convention) by the UN authority responsible for this, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) based in The Hague. Production or possession are prohibited; this does not apply to work that exclusively serves to protect against these substances or for research.
(Sources: Wikipedia.de, chemie.de, https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/soman/basics/facts.asp)
The chemical warfare agent VX also belongs to the neurotoxins and is the most common representative of the V series (the V stands for viscous, viscose – viscous). The names “TX 60”, “EA 1701” (Edgewood Arsenal Code) or systematically “O-ethyl-S-2-diisopropylaminoethylmethylphosphonothiolate” (IUPAC) are also used for this substance.
VX is a colorless to yellowish slightly oily liquid that may have a faint rotten fish and mercaptan odor depending on manufacturing process and purity.
Compared to the nerve agents of the G series (G stands for Germany, i.e. Germany) such as sarin or tabun, which evaporate after a few hours or days, VX has a much longer shelf life. Compared to sarin, VX volatilizes 2000 times slower, i.e. H. The nerve agent can remain in place for up to weeks and is significantly more toxic than G-series agents.
VX is the chemical warfare agent with the highest toxicity, only a few toxins are more toxic, but they belong to the ABO, i.e. biological warfare agents.
VX enters the body through the skin, eyes and airways, initially causing coughing and nausea. It then paralyzes the respiratory muscles and leads to death within a few minutes with severe cramps and pain.
Depending on the degree of poisoning, the following symptoms of poisoning occur. The nose runs, there are blurred vision, the pupil narrows, the eyes hurt. There is shortness of breath and salivation. Muscle twitches occur and cramps and sweating occur. The affected person vomits and can no longer control their own bowel movements. Unconsciousness and paralysis of the respiratory muscles leading to death.
The effects on the eyes, such as impaired vision and the disruption of the near and far focus of the eye, as well as the reduction of the pupil, already occur at low concentrations of the nerve agent. These signs of intoxication are already appearing while other signs are not yet observed.
In 1950, almost simultaneously, the Swede L. E. Tammelin and the American Ranaji Goshem discovered the basis of all V-series warfare agents, phosphonic acid thiocholine esters. Shortly thereafter, the United States began systematic research on the new warfare agent. Just five years later, the first V warfare agent, Amiton, was produced and shortly thereafter far more toxic substances such as VX were developed. VX is the best-known warfare agent of the V series and also the first to be used militarily.
As already mentioned, Saddam Hussein used VX during the Iran-Iraq War and later, as part of the Anfal operation, VX is also said to have been used in the chemical weapons attack against Halabdja (Helebçe). More than 5,000 people have been killed by chemical weapons in Halabdja, including many women and children.
He is said to have been assassinated by VX during an assassination attempt at Kuala Lumpur Airport on February 13, 2017 against Kim Jong-nam (the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un).
Since 1997, the Chemical Weapons Convention has required the destruction of stocks of this warfare agent, which was produced by the USA and a substance very similar to VX called RVX, which was produced in the Soviet Union.
(Sources: Wikipedia.de, chemie.de, gifte.org)