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The Mess in the Middle East
Is ISIS Using Chemical Weapons Too?

ISIS may be using chemical weapons in the Middle East, Arutz Sheva reports:

The US is investigating reports that terror group Islamic State (ISIS) used chemical weapons against the Iraqi military, after separate accounts from both an unnamed Iraqi Defense official and hospital workers treating the victims told authorities that chlorine gas had been used.

Eleven Iraqi policemen were rushed to hospital last month complaining of dizziness, vomiting, and shortness of breath, the Washington Post reported Friday – all symptoms of chlorine gas poisoning. Yellow gas was also seen emanating from the site near where the policemen fell ill.

Officials also reported two other attacks. The source of the chemicals—and the amount and variety of them—remains unknown:

In June, ISIS seized a weapons complex thought to have held hundreds of tons of lethal sarin and mustard gasses: the al-Muthanna complex, located 60 miles north of Baghdad, which was a central base of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons program.

While the US State Department waved off rumors that the plant still held chemical weapons, experts stated to the British Telegraph that the chemical residue left at the site could be weaponized regardless – and that ISIS does, in fact, have chemical weapons experience.

In the meantime, Iraqi Defense officials told the Washington Post that the weaponry for the current attack was seized from Iraqi water plants now in ISIS territory, not from the complex.

To add to the danger, much of the area where Saddam’s former chemical arsenal had been used against, or accidentally injured, U.S. troops during the occupation of Iraq now lies under ISIS’s control.

This news comes on the heels of reports that Bashar Assad is continuing to use chemical weapons in the Syrian theater. Every time it looks like things in Mesopotamia can’t get any uglier, they seem to find a way to do so. With months-long delays expected before Western-friendly forces swing into action, expect this trend to continue.

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  • Andrew Allison

    This can’t be right: everybody knows that there were no WMDs in Iraq, and that Assad (half of who’s country is under the control of ISIS) turned over his for disposal [sarcasm alert]. When are we going to start facing facts in the Levant?

    • Tom

      When the media gets over Bush v. Gore and their belief that everything they needed to know they learned in kindergarten.

  • lukelea

    At this point Sadam looks good. Didn’t we put him into power in the first place? Where do we find another one? I mean a secular as opposed to Islamist autocracy.

  • Sibir_RUS

    Chemical weapons colorless and odorless. ISIS use is some sort of self-made gas.
    All identified cases of using poison gas in Syria were self-made (not industrial production)

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