NEW YORK (AP) -- Egypt secretly supplied crucial help -- both technology and expert manpower -- to the chemical weapons program of Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the 1980s, U.S. arms investigators have found.

The CIA's Iraq Survey Group says Egyptian specialists helped the Iraqis make "technological leaps" on poison gas at the height of the Iran-Iraq War, when Baghdad used nerve agents to kill thousands of Iranian soldiers and Iranian and Iraqi civilians.

Like former enemy Israel, Egypt has long been believed to possess chemical weapons. Experts say there's strong evidence Egyptian warplanes repeatedly used mustard-gas bombs against royalist forces during Cairo's intervention in the Yemen civil war of the 1960s. 1

1981, after the outbreak of war with Iran, Saddam's Iraqi government paid Egypt $12 million "in return for assistance with production and storage of chemical weapons agents