BAGHDAD — The Islamic State group is aggressively pursuing development of chemical weapons, setting up a branch dedicated to research and experiments with the help of scientists from Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the region, according to Iraqi and U.S. intelligence officials.
Iraqi and U.S. intelligence officers are saying that ISIS is aggressively trying to obtain or make chemical weapons in a branch they developed with Iraqi scientists. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls recently told the lower House of Parliament that ISIS could use chemical weapons against the West. (HT Breitbart)
“Terrorism hit France not because of what it is doing in Iraq and Syria … but for what it is,” he declared. “We know that there could also be a risk of chemical or biological weapons.”
He did not specify how the government came to the conclusion. A senior Iraqi intelligence official told the Associated Press the authorities are “largely in the dark” about any ISIS program due to the large amount of ground they control.
“They now have complete freedom to select locations for their labs and production sites and have a wide range of experts, both civilians and military, to aid them,” said the official.
Hakim al-Zamili, head of the Iraqi Parliament’s security and defense committee, allegedly viewed top secret reports that state the group not only possesses chemical weapons, but also has scientists who once worked for former dictator Saddam Hussein.
“Daesh is working very seriously to reach production of chemical weapons, particularly nerve gas,” he said. “That would threaten not just Iraq but the whole world.”
In November, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) showed Reuters a report that claims ISIS and another rebel group in Syria used chemical weapons. The report concluded that “at least two people were exposed to sulphur mustard” in Marea on August 21.
“It is very likely that the effects of sulphur mustard resulted in the death of a baby,” read the report.
It is the first time a report has claimed rebels used sulfur mustard, also known as mustard gas, during the civil war. The Syrian regime promised to destroy its chemical weapons and allegedly handed over its “toxic chemicals 18 months ago.”
The media reported in June 2014, when ISIS expanded its Caliphate into Iraq, the terrorist group captured weapons that belonged to dictator Saddam Hussein.
A month later, the Kurdish Peshmerga told Kurdish media outlets that ISIS used these weapons in Syrian Kurdistan:
Kobanê canton has been exposed to the cruel attacks of the terrorist ISIS militants for some time. In these attacks, ISIS gangs are using all kinds of weapons, including the thermal missiles of USA. Nonetheless, after the first researches and medical control which was done by health team of Kobanê canton and experts on the wounded and martyred fighters, it has been proved that the ISIS gangs have used chemical weapons. Doctors found burns and white dots on the bodies of the martyrs.
These forces made the same claims in March. The Kurdish Regional Security Council said ISIS attacked the Kurds in January when they drove a truck full of chemical weapons past the troops on a road near the border of Syria. When the Kurds hit the truck, it released gas into the air, causing soldiers to suffer from “dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and general weakness.” This led officials to conclude ISIS used chlorine gas.
In July, two U.K. organizations reported that ISIS used chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria. A mortar at the Mosul Dam was still leaking a dark yellow liquid after the attack. Those who came close to the liquid suffered similar symptoms. The groups also looked at weapons used in an attack on Tel Brak and Hasakah.
“Nine days later, when researchers examined fragments of munitions at Tel Brak, they were covered in a chemical residue which still had an acrid odor and caused powerful throat and eye irritation,” stated CNN. “At a hospital in Qamishli, several of the affected fighters tested positive for PH3, a phosphine-based chemical used as an insecticide or fumigating compound.”