Combined Joint Task Force finds ISIS did not use chemical weapons
A shell containing what was believed to be chemical agents was found last week at an airbase in Northern Iraq with many believing it could potentially be mustard gas. However, the Spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) took to Twitter to announce that “Definitive lab tests conclude: No mustard agent present in munitions fired at Qayyarah West AB Sept 20.”
This is not the first time Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) has been accused of using chemical weapons. Last year, Kurdish Peshmerga forces were attacked with mortar shells that they suspect contained mustard gas, Military News reported.
The welcome news may be short lived, however. On Monday, a Pentagon spokesman announced that IS was “dead set” on using chemical weapons.
Sources say the agent had low purity & was “poorly weaponized,” with another official calling the shell ineffective https://t.co/T85tQ9wybW— RT America (@RT_America) September 21, 2016
"We fully recognize this is something that ISIL has done before. They've done it many times, at least a couple dozen that we know of where they have launched crude makeshift munitions that are filled with this mustard agent," Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said in a press conference.
“I think we can fully expect, as this road toward Mosul progresses, ISIL is likely to try to use it again,” he added.
Even without the use of chemical agents, IS is unlikely to give up Mosul without a fight. Davis announced that the US has provided over 50,000 gas masks to Iraq.