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Conflicting Reports Claim Islamic State Used Chlorine Gas for First Time in Iraq

Conflicting Reports Claim Islamic State Used Chlorine Gas for First Time in Iraq

Reports from the town of Dhuluyia, Iraq, suggest that the Islamic State terrorists attempted to use a chemical weapon, chlorine gas, to attack Iraqi soldiers. While a Wall Street Journal reporter notes 12 were hurt in the incident, Spanish news agency EFE claims at least 14 jihadists died in the attack.

According to Middle East Wall Street Journal correspondent Matt Bradley, hospital workers in the town are reporting that they have encountered cases of injuries that appear to have been the product of a chemical attack on Monday:

Bradley’s is not the only report of a similar incident. Iran’s state-sponsored Fars News Agency also reports the news. Additionally, Argentine news outlet Infobae quotes the Spanish news agency EFE as claiming that at least fourteen jihadists died in an assault in the city due to a rocket packed with chlorine gas. Security sources tell the Spanish agency that another seven jihadists were wounded in the event, which they note also took place in Dhuluyia. Iraqi soldiers and security personnel were also rushed to medical care with injuries apparently illustrative of such an attack.

The use of chemical weapons has not been confirmed by other sources, as Dhuluyia, 90 miles north of Baghdad, is remote for many media sources. However, if confirmed, it would be the first official use of chemical weapons by the Islamic State in Iraq. The Islamic State has been suspected of possessing chemical weapons for months. On July 9, reports began to surface that the Islamic State had captured a chemical weapons plant northwest of Baghdad, which still contained some degraded, but nonetheless, active chemical rockets. By July 15, Kurdish Peshmerga forces began to warn that they had seen evidence of the use of chemical weapons, including “thermal missiles of USA,” by the Islamic State terrorists.

Given the destruction the Islamic State has managed to produce in Iraq without the aid of chemical weapons, having such capability would allow the terror group to much more quickly advance its goal of killing everyone in the country who does not conform to its radical Sunni version of Sharia Law, and thus potentially spread outside of Syria and Iraq into other Middle Eastern countries.

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