June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Two engines from Iraqi surface-to-air missiles, including one from an Al Samoud 2 missile banned by the United Nations, have turned up in a scrap yard in the Netherlands, according to UN arms inspectors.
Representatives of the unidentified scrap yard said at least five and as many as 12 similar engines were sent to the Rotterdam location earlier this year, and more may have passed through, according to a report dated May 28 from the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission.
Unmovic, which ran inspections in Iraq before the U.S.-led invasion, said some of the materials may have been taken out of Iraq by looters and sold as scrap. Satellite photos show Iraqi sites subject to international monitoring that have been cleaned out or destroyed, according to the report.
The UN inspectors said the discovery shows the difficulty of accounting for how many banned missiles the regime of Saddam Hussein possessed before he was overthrown in a U.S.-led invasion last year. The U.S.'s Iraq Survey Group is hunting for banned arms in Iraq in the absence of the UN team.
Workers at the scrap yard in the Dutch port said the site received other items made of stainless steel and other metals bearing the inscription ``Iraq'' or ``Baghdad'' shipped beginning in November 2003. Some of the items analyzed by the Unmovic team were composed of inconel and titanium, materials that had both civilian and military uses.
Inconel is a corrosion-resistant alloy containing nickel, chromium and iron, according to the Web site of the U.S. government's Argonne National Laboratory.
The yard deals in ``high-quality stainless steel,'' and the company involved is cooperating with the investigation, the UN report said.