Iraqi Forces Discover Chemical Warfare Agent in Mosul | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Iraqi Forces Discover Chemical Warfare Agent in Mosul

Iraqi special forces Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil said French officials tested the Mosul chemical this week and confirmed it was a mustard agent

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    A soldier with Iraq's special forces troops inspects missiles found in a warehouse in the eastern side of Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, Jan. 28, 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 Saturday.

    Iraqi and U.S. officials have repeatedly warned of Islamic State group 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.

    22 Dead in Explosion at Grande Concert

    [NATL] 22 Dead in Explosion at Grande Concert

    British police said an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena killed 22 people, including children, and injured more than 50. 

    (Published Tuesday, May 23, 2017)

    Iraqi special forces Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil said French officials tested the Mosul chemical this week and confirmed it was a mustard agent. Fadhil did not specify the quantity or potency of the chemical, but Iraqi soldiers were able to visit the site for about ten minutes without exhibiting any symptoms of exposure.

    "We know that they were using this place to experiment with chemical weapons," he said, referring to IS.

    Fadhil said he believes the facility was set up in the Nineveh ruins — an ancient site just over 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the Tigris, but removed from the city's dense neighborhoods — to keep it a secret from Mosul residents who might be passing information to Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition.

    Iraqi forces showed journalists a tank of the chemical agent and a warehouse of more than a dozen surface-to-surface rockets bearing Russian inscriptions.

    WATCH: Pippa Middleton Post-Wedding Kiss

    [NATL] WATCH: Pippa Middleton Post-Wedding Kiss

    Pippa Middleton and James Matthews kiss after their wedding at St Mark's Church in Englefield, England, on Saturday, May 20, 2017. Middleton, the sister of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, married hedge fund manager James Matthews in a ceremony Saturday. Her niece and nephew, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, were in the wedding party, along with sister Kate and princes Harry and William.

    (Published Saturday, May 20, 2017)

    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 Islamic State group was attempting to weaponize the chemical agent, Fadhil said. He added that he believed the facility was being used up until just one or two weeks ago.

    Iraqi forces declared Mosul's eastern half fully liberated, just over three months after the operation to retake the city from IS was formally launched in October.