Mosul, Iraq — An Iraqi military spokesperson confirmed this weekend that the Islamic State launched what some are considering a home-made rocket that contained a mustard gas chemical agent affecting twenty-five Iraqi Army soldiers in and around the embattled northern Iraq city of Mosul. Iraq’s Joint Operations Command Brigadier General Yahya Rasool stated in an interview with the Associated Press that six soldiers suffered breathing problems from the attack on Sunday and were treated in a field clinic. General Rasool also confirmed that this was the second time in two days that Islamic State fighters had used chemical weapons in Western Mosul.
A statement on the Iraq Joint Operations Command Facebook page also reiterated General Rasool’s statement of chemical munitions used by ISIS:
The U.S. commanding general of Operation Inherent Resolve, Maj. General Joseph Martin, echoed the Iraq Joint Operation Command statement by saying that “Daesh [ISIS] has used chemicals in the vicinity of Mosul.” General Martin wouldn’t comment on whether any of the U.S. and Australian advisors within the area were affected by the mustard gas, yet claimed that the chemical attack had “no impact on Iraqi security forces, and no impact on our forces.”
Since the beginning of the Mosul Offensive, the Islamic State have been quite astute at reverse engineering homemade explosive devices as well as ground-to-ground rocket-propelled weapons. ISIS has also acquired and stockpiled the chemical precursors needed to build ad-hoc chemical weapons with reports of chemical weapon stockpiles of the Islamic State begin reported as far back as the fall of 2016. Where Iraqi Army forces captured a suspected ISIS chemical weapons depot outside of Mosul in the town of Qayyarah, Iraq where ISIS supposedly fired artillery shells filled with what was reported as a sulfur-mustard blister agent.
SOFREP spoke with sources within the Iraqi Special Operation Forces (ISOF) in regards to the Mosul offensive. The source reported that western Mosul is seeing some of the heaviest fighting in recent weeks within the city with heavy casualties being inflicted on both sides of the conflict. The source went on the claim that most if not all of the city of Mosul is still without running water and electricity with civilians caught in the crossfire. The Islamic State’s desperation to hold the city of Mosul will more than likely embolden the jihadists to launch more of these attacks and further the loss of life within the region as the U.S.-led coalition pushes harder into ISIS strongholds.
SOFREP will continue to track this story as more develops. Read entire report from the Military Times here.
Feature image courtesy of Daily Mail UK