Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Iraqi Soldiers Killed In Iraq Chemical Weapons

Several Iraqi soldiers had to be treated after a chemical weapon attack perpetrated Saturday by the Islamic State (EI) group in the city of Mosul, a US official said Wednesday.

Members of the extremist organization launched a low-intensity chemical agent against Iraqi soldiers in western Mosul, a city in northern Iraq that the anti-EI coalition is attempting to resume with jihadists, US and Australian military advisors, Major General Joseph Martin said.

"Iraqi soldiers ... were in the vicinity of one of the strikes and received appropriate care to ensure that they were doing well," said General Martin, who commands a land division of The coalition of countries fighting against the IE.

The US military does not yet know whether any Australians or Americans are among the victims, Martin added.

The chemical agent, which is being analyzed, came from "indirect fire".

"No one is dead ... and the good news is that no one was seriously affected" by the attack, the general said.

The EI group regularly conducts chemical attacks, but its impact on military operations has so far been minimal. The conventional bombs and bullets of the jihadists are much more deadly.

All the soldiers on the front are supposed to carry a "specific equipment" to protect them from possible chemical attacks, said Martin, without saying if the soldiers affected on Saturday carried these types of equipment.

Launched on 17 October, the Battle of Mosul enabled Iraqi government troops to hunt in January the jihadists in the eastern part of their last major Iraqi bastion. Since February, the fighting is concentrated on the west bank of the Tigris River, which cuts the city in two.

The EI group took control in 2014 of large areas of territories in Iraq and Syria. But Iraqi forces backed by aerial bombing by the US-led coalition have resumed many of them.

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