Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) jihadists have launched two chemical attacks in northern Iraq, reportedly killing a 3-year-old girl and wounding nearly 600 people, according to Iraqi officials.
United Press International (UPI) reports that the “the girl died from exposure to the substance shortly after the attacks, officials said. She suffered from kidney and lung failure.”
The remaining victims have been exposed to a substance that the Wall Street Journal notes causes symptoms similar to that of exposure to chlorine or mustard gas.
“Others infected have experienced respiratory problems and skin irritation. At least four victims were transferred to a Baghdad medical facility in critical condition,” points out UPI. “German and American research teams have arrived in the area to test the chemicals, according to The Guardian.”
The attacks, which also displaced hundreds of Iraqis, occurred near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.
Various news outlets report that the latest attack took place on Saturday in the small town of Taza, which the Los Angeles Times notes “was also struck by a barrage of rockets carrying chemicals three days earlier.”
CNN learned from Iraqi security officials that “suspected terrorists with links to ISIS on Saturday fired rockets containing unspecified chemical substances into a residential part of the northern Iraqi town of Taza.”
“The attacks caused an unspecified number of casualties from suffocation, burns and dehydration,” adds the report.
Shiite Turkmen-controlled Taza is located about 12 miles south of Kirkuk.
“A U.S. Special Operations team captured a senior ISIS operative involved in chemical weapons about three weeks ago,” notes CNN. “Several officials have said U.S.-led warplanes have since conducted airstrikes targeting chemical weapons sites based on information provided by this man, who has been identified as Sleiman Daoud Al-Bakkar.”
“His capture, however, has not stopped alleged chemical attacks by ISIS or other terrorists associated with the Islamist militant group,” it adds.
The first ISIS chemical attack in Taza last week injured around 100 people, reports CNN, noting that the victims were shown in pictures with swollen eyes and skin burns.
“What the Daesh terrorist gangs did in the city of Taza will not go unpunished,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi said, using an Arab acronym for ISIS when addressing local elders Saturday in Taza. “The perpetrators will pay dearly.”
This week, a United States official reported a detained IS operative gave details about the group’s chemical capabilities, saying they plan to use weaponized mustard gas in Iraq and Syria. The operative is reportedly a chemical weapons specialist and former Iraqi government employee during Saddam Hussein’s regime. He was captured about a month ago.
Mustard gas is controlled as a battlefield weapon under several protocols of combat. The official said the group, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, does not have weapons with adequately concentrated mustard gas to kill, but to cause injuries and scars.