Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


US concerned over ISIS gas

17 March 2015, 10:13

Washington - The US military said on Monday it is "concerned" about reports that Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists used chlorine gas in an attack against Kurdish forces, but it could not confirm the account.

Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan government said on Saturday that an analysis of soil and clothing samples showed that the IS group employed chlorine gas in a car bomb attack on 23 January.

"We are certainly concerned about it. We have not been able to independently confirm it," said Pentagon spokesperson Colonel Steven Warren.

"We have seen what the Kurds have to say. We have no reason not to believe them," he told reporters.

The alleged attack was another example of the "brutality" of the ISIS extremists and could signal their "desperation" as they come under mounting pressure on the battlefield, Warren said.

The use of chlorine gas in homemade bombs is not new in the conflict zone. The Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad has frequently used chlorine in attacks on opposition forces.

"This use of industrial chemicals is in the mix in that region of the world," Warren said.

Supplies of chlorine are readily available at water treatment plants that the ISIS group would have access to in captured territory, said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a non-profit group based in Washington.

Creating chlorine-filled explosives violated international law prohibiting chemical weapons, Kimball told AFP.

Also read: Iraq says it busted ISIS Baghdad bombing network

"This is yet another escalation by Daesh forces in their reign of terror," he said, using the Arabic term for the ISIS group.

Inspired by Assad

The Assad regime's use of chlorine gas apparently had "inspired" the ISIS group, he said.

Syria agreed to give up its arsenal of lethal nerve agents under an agreement brokered by the United States and Russia. International monitors verified the removal of the substances last year.

Without the disarmament deal, the ISIS group might have seized control of some of the chemical weapons and would not have hesitated to use them, Kimball said.

"That's why it was so important to get that material out of there," he said.

Car bombs and roadside bombs are easy to rig with chlorine canisters but the chemical agent tends not to be effective as a weapon, only affecting small numbers of people. The weapon, however, carries a psychological effect.

Doctors and witnesses have reported people exposed to chlorine gases in recent attacks in Iraq briefly showing symptoms such as vomiting and respiratory problems.

It is unclear, however, whether anyone has died as a result of exposure to chlorine used in an ISIS attack.

The first time chlorine was used on the battlefield was about 100 years ago in World War I, when German forces fired canisters with chlorine gas.


Tags isis iraq syria

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...