Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iraqi Generals Get Pentagon E-Mails

WASHINGTON -- In a novel use of information warfare, the Pentagon sent e-mail messages to Iraqi generals to encourage dissent and defections and to warn against carrying out any order from President Saddam Hussein to use chemical or germ weapons against U.S. or allied forces, an official said Friday.

The official said it was the first time this technique had been used. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said it was part of a broader campaign by the Pentagon and other U.S. agencies to weaken the Iraqi military's loyalty to Hussein and to dissuade the use of chemical or biological weapons.

"It is consistent with all of the messages we have been trying to send to Saddam Hussein," the official said. "It's just another means."

The origin of the e-mail messages, first reported by CNN, was obscured to hide the Pentagon's hand, the official said. He would not say exactly when the messages were sent but indicated it was recent, perhaps last week.