This decision led to UNSCOM's withdrawal in December 1998, followed by Operation Desert Fox in which the United States and United Kingdom bombed a number of facilities thought to have been used in reviving Iraq's WMD programs. government's belief that Iraq had reconstituted its CW program. This was despite findings by the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspections Commission (UNMOVIC), the organization that replaced UNSCOM, that there was no evidence of Iraqi continuation or resumption of WMD programs.On 19 March 2003 a United States-led coalition invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein.  In April 2003 the United States tasked the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), headed by former UN inspector David Kay, with locating suspected WMD stockpiles and equipment.In July 2014, the Islamic State (IS), a militant jihadist organization, seized a former Iraqi chemical weapons production facility that U. officials believe still contains remnants of Iraq's chemical weapons arsenal. The last major UN report on Iraq's WMD programs in 2004 found that the facility contained 2,500 122mm chemical rockets filled with sarin, 180 tons of sodium cyanide, and numerous empty shells and containers contaminated with mustard residue. These initial attempts failured, and the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) took over responsibility for chemical weapons research, founding the al Hazen ibn al-Haiteham Institute in 1974. However, by 1978, the IIS also had failed to develop CW agents, due in part to extensive mismanagement.Iraq first developed a chemical weapons capability in the early 1960s.During the Iran-Iraq War, Iraq used tabun and mustard gas on a large scale against both Iran and the Kurdish populations in northern Iraq.
 A subsequent investigation by Chivers and Eric Schmitt revealed a major CIA-run effort, Operation Avarice, to purchase old chemical weapons that were on the Iraqi black market.In June 1981 Iraq founded Project 922, within the Ministry of Defense, to oversee development and production. Project 922 drew much of its equipment and expertise from the al Rashad laboratory complex of the al Hazen Institute, and was able to produce tens of tons of mustard gas by 1983. However, the materials in question date back to the 1980s, and are unlikely to be useful for chemical warfare purposes.Kurdish and Iraqi military officials claim that IS has used chemical weapons within Iraq, against the Peshmerga forces, multiple times in the past year.