ISIS has bombarded a coveted airport in Syria with deadly gas, killing unknown numbers of Syrian soldiers in the attack.
“The… militants attacked the military airfield in Deir Ez-zor with shells containing a poisonous chemical substance. The defenders of the airbase have reported that a number of soldiers were choking,” a source told RT.
Syrian state media confirmed that ISIS “fired rockets carrying mustard gas” but didn’t confirm the number of casualties, Reuters reported. Soldiers were reportedly choking, and a source told Agence France-Presse that the attack caused “some people to suffocate.”
However, other insiders close to the military said the terrorists didn’t use poisonous gas in the attack on the military airbase. The son of a general, who is in charge at the airport, denied the claims.
ISIS has been fighting for control of Deir Ezzor since 2014. Located near Iraq in the eastern part of the country, the airbase is a critical link between their headquarters in Raqqa, Syria, and fighters in Iraq.
The airport has been heavily defended by the military in Syria, located south of Deir al-Zor. The extremists control main neighborhoods in that city, which is the largest in the eastern region of the country.
— The Straits Times (@STcom) April 5, 2016
While the veracity of the attack claims is under debate, there is plenty of evidence supporting the claim that the terror group resorted to chemical weapons against the military determined the fight them. The terrorist group has committed a series of mustard gas attacks in both Syria and Iraq.
It’s believed the military have the chemicals already, since the Kurds have accused Turkey of supplying ISIS and other jihadist groups with the deadly materials to fight the Syrian government.
ISIS attacked the Kurds with chemicals in March in Aleppo during a cease fire; the group said the materials came from Turkey, and sources inside ISIS confirmed their use.
The Syrian American Medical Society determined that 161 attacks with sarin, chlorine, and mustard gas have taken place since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, killing 1,491 people.
ISIS’ attacks are among those. In early March, ISIS perpetrated a gas attack when they shelled the Iraqi village of Taza. Three children and 1,500 people were killed; injuries included burns, rashes, and respiratory problems.
Moreover, in the predominantly Shia Turkmen village, 40 people choked and suffered skin irritation after a gas attack. ISIS also attacked the town of Marea, near Aleppo, Syria, killing a baby.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has concluded that ISIS has used chemical weapons against the Kurds all last year and was used in Syria in 2015 as well.
— RT (@RT_com) April 5, 2016
Although it’s the least-effective weapon in their arsenal, the gas attack causes a significant amount of psychological anguish in the region. After the carnage in Taza, 25,000 fled their homes in fear of another.
The gas attack at the airbase was just one of many offensives committed by ISIS in Syria this week. Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in Jafra, near the airbase, by crashing their vehicles into army defenses and killing dozens. ISIS also bombed two districts near the base, killing seven civilians.
Meanwhile, the Sun has reported news that Morocco’s head of counter-terrorism has warned that ISIS may turn biological and chemical weapons on Britain and Europe.
Abdelhak Khiame said his agents quashed a plot to unleash such attacks on four Moroccan cities 24 hours before it was supposed to start. He warned that it may have been practice for an assault in Europe.
“It’s very possible that Daesh would use this process to target Britain and other EU countries. It already has brigades of children and we know they train them in their camps looking to use them in terrorist attacks in Europe. As for chemical weapons, we have seen here how easy they are to prepare. The substances used in the plot we dismantled in February in Morocco are available in shops all over Britain, all over Europe. They can use very simple substances in order to develop these weapons and it is very easy.”
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