ISIS deployed a chemical attack near the city of Kirkuk in Iraq. The damage created by the chemical attack left a 3-year-old girl dead, 600 people injured, and hundreds of Iraqis in fear. A second chemical attack was launched by ISIS in the Iraq town of Taza. Taza was attacked earlier in the week by rockets that contained chemical agents. The Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider Abadi, commented on the deadly chemical attack against his people.
“What the Daesh terrorist gangs did in the city of Taza will not go unpunished. The perpetrators will pay dearly.”
Sameer Wais is a member of the Shiite militia that is fighting back against ISIS. Wais is also the father of the girl who died during the chemical attack near Kirkuk. Wais was working with the militia at the time of the attack. He immediately left his post to check on his family. He said the odor of the chemical used was still in the air. Wais also commented on what he did with his daughter.
“We took her to the clinic and they said that she needed to go to a hospital in Kirkuk. And that’s what we did, we brought her here to the hospital in Kirkuk. But by midnight she started to get worse. Her face puffed up and her eyes bulged. Then she turned black and pieces of her skin started to come off. Now I will fight Daesh more than before, for Fatima.”
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) March 13, 2016
His daughter, Fatima, was dead by morning. The hundreds that were still alive, but wounded at the hands of the chemical attack, were suffering from a variety of health issues. The main problems these wounded people are dealing with are chemical burns, dehydration, and an inability to get enough oxygen into their bodies. Adel Hussein is an official in the town of Taza. He commented on how the people in Taza are reacting.
“There is fear and panic among the women and children. They’re calling for the central government to save them.”
The chemical agents that ISIS is using in Iraq are chlorine and low-grade sulfur mustard. According to experts, ISIS does not have the equipment or knowledge to launch a chemical attack with more sophisticated chemical agents. U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren commented on ISIS and their use of chemical weapons. Apparently, the United States military is not that concerned.
“It’s a legitimate threat. It’s not a high threat. We’re not, frankly, losing too much sleep over it.”
— Adam K. Pawłowski (@adpaw13) March 13, 2016
Airstrikes against ISIS have been targeting the building and infrastructure that they are using to store and develop chemical weapons. Intelligence reports state that ISIS has developed a special division in their hierarchy that focuses only on chemical weapons. Some of the scientists that are helping ISIS are ones that formerly worked on chemical weapons for Saddam Hussein.
According to reports, ISIS is relying on chemical attacks more and more as a response to the air strikes that are taking place against them. Hamish De Bretton Gordon, a former British army officer and chemical weapons expert, explains how this is a sign of desperation for ISIS.
“As they get more and more pushed, we’re seeing them use it more and more often. They are trying to prevent defeat.”
With the chemical attack in Iraq, what should the military response be against ISIS?
[Photo by AP Images]