Toxic Gas used by Isis on Kurdish Forces

Image credits:  Reuters

Image credits: Reuters

Kurdish fighters and weapons experts and the UK-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights report the use of weapons containing toxic gas by Isis (Islamic State) in attacking Iraq and Syria Kurdish forces.

On June 28, improvised chemical bullets were launched by Isis at YPG positions south of Tel Brak town and at a YPG-controlled area of Hasaka, Al-Hasakah Governate capital city in Syria. The kind of chemical used, said YPG spokesman Redur Xelil, has not yet been identified. Prolonged exposure to the toxic gas causes burning of the throat, nose and eyes, as well as headaches, vomiting, muscle pain and impaired mobility. The YPG spokesman said that this is the first time toxic gas was used by the Islamic State militant group.

Xelil verified that there were no reports of deaths because the 12 YPG fighters, who got exposed to the toxic gas, were immediately brought to the hospital.

The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, responsible in reporting the use of activists on the ground during the war, reported that toxic gas was also used on the same day in attacking a village close to Tel Brak.

The YPG stated that an international team of experts from Conflict Armament Research and Sahan Research are helping them in investigating the use of chemical weapons by the Isis. In a statement released by the YPG, they reported that industrial grade gas marks were discovered by their forces from Isis fighters, indicating the preparedness and readiness of Isis for chemical warfare.

The organizations said that the three bullet-delivered chemical agents attack by Isis against the Kurdish forces and civilians were the first recorded incident.  (One attack was in Iraq, while two were in northeastern Syria.)

They also said that a projectile with a liquid chemical agent, compatible with a chlorine chemical agent, was used by the Isis forces in the Iraq attack at the Peshmerga Mosul Dam checkpoint.

Early this year, authorities from the Iraqi Kurdish said that they have proofs that chlorine was used by the Islamic State against the Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq.

Isis was previously accused by Al-Nusra Front, affiliate of Al-Qaeda in the Syrian war, of using barrels of chlorine as a booby trap.

With the assistance of the United States-led air strikes, the YPG was able to drive the Isis forces off the northeastern Syria areas this year. The town of Tel Abyad at the border with Turkey was captured by the YPG from the Isis.

The use of chemical weapons by Isis was reported to the White House and was now looking for more information.

Alistair Baskey, White House National Security Council spokesman, said that they are monitoring the reports intently.




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