herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Kurds say IS using chemical weapons

Kurdish forces in Iraq are investigating two other possible chemical weapons attacks by the Islamic State (IS) group, a top official has said.

The two purported chemical weapon attacks - on December 26 and January 18 - resemble one claimed on Saturday by Kurdish officials, who say an independent laboratory concluded the militants used chlorine gas against its peshmerga forces in a January 23 truck suicide attack.

Iraqi officials and Kurds fighting in Syria have made similar allegations about the militants using the low-grade chemical weapons against them. IS, which controls a third of Syria and Iraq in its self-declared caliphate, has not commented on the claims.

Coughing

Kurdish officials have offered footage of the aftermath of the December 26 attack, which shows men coughing and pouring water over their heads after another suicide truck bombing that authorities say wounded some 60 men.

"I put a wet scarf on my face because when I saw the gas, I felt it," said Captain Mohammad Sewdin, who leads the Kurdish special forces unit targeted in the December attack.

"I was afraid it might be something like (chemical weapons)," he added.

Capt Sewdin said he was temporarily blinded after the attack and coughed up blood.

There has been no independent confirmation of the Kurds' claims.

hnews@herald.ie

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