ISIS is becoming more deadly by using chemical weapons


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It was only a matter of time.

Kurdish sources in Iraq have said they have evidence that the Islamic State (ISIS) used chlorine gas as a chemical weapon against Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

The Kurdistan Region Security Council said the chlorine gas was spread by way of a suicide truck bomb attack in northern Iraq, in the vicinity of Kurdish fighters, on the 23rd of January. Iraqi officials and Kurds fighting in Syria have made several similar allegations since last fall, about ISIS using chlorine chemical weapons against them.

In a statement, the Kurdish council said the attack took place on a road between Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, and the Syrian border, in an area where Peshmerga forces were fighting to re-take a supply line used by ISIS militants.

Kurdish sources said their fighters found “around twenty gas canisters” that had been loaded onto the truck involved in the attack. The Guardian reports the Kurdish council provided a video showing a truck racing down a road, white smoke pouring out of it as it comes under heavy fire from Peshmerga fighters.

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Later the truck explodes, its remnants scattered across the road, and a white billowing cloud spreads all around it.

An official with the Kurdish council told AP that dozens of Peshmerga fighters were treated after this attack for “dizziness, nausea, vomiting and general weakness”. According to Home Land Security News Wire the Kurds say that a lab, which was not named, analyzed samples of clothing and soil from the site, and found chlorine traces.

“The fact Isis relies on such tactics demonstrates it has lost the initiative and is resorting to desperate measures,” the Kurdish sources told the Guardian. However, these claims have not been confirmed by independent sources. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which had overseen Syria’s dismantling of its chemical arms stockpile, is yet to comment on the Kurdish allegations.

Chlorine is an industrial chemical which was first employed as a chemical weapon at Ypres during the First World War. The results then were devastating, because gas masks were not yet widely available.