Iraqi forces discover chemical agent in MosulUpdated:January 29, 2017
Iraqi forces discovered a mustard chemical warfare agent in eastern Mosul alongside a cache of Russian surface-to-surface missiles, an Iraqi officer said on Saturday.
Iraqi and U.S. officials have repeatedly warned of Islamic State (IS) group’s efforts to develop chemical weapons. When Iraqi forces retook Mosul University earlier this month, they found chemistry labs they believed had been converted into makeshift chemical weapons labs.
Iraqi special forces Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil said French officials tested the Mosul chemical this week and confirmed it was a mustard agent.
The number of casualties due to IS chemical weapons is a small fraction compared to the hundreds of civilians killed in car and suicide bombings carried out by the group.
Experts say that is largely due to the low grade of the weapons and the group’s lack of access to efficient delivery systems.
The types of rockets found at the site suggest the IS was attempting to weaponise the chemical agent, Brig. Gen. Fadhil said. — AP