According to the command of the US-led coalition, terrorists may use chemical weapons, defending the Iraqi city of Mosul, without taking care about civilian casualties.
The command of the US-led coalition expects a massive usage of chemical weapons by terrorists, defending the Iraqi city of Mosul, the Izvestiya newspaper reported. Recently, the government forces, involved in the assault on the city, have received more than 24,000 gas masks.
“The enemy has used chemical weapons in the past, and we intend to take all measures to reduce the risk to our forces,” commander of the coalition’s ground forces, Major General Gary Volesky, said.
According to experts, the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group may have a rich chemical arsenal. About a month ago, the coalition’s air power destroyed a pharmaceutical factory in Mosul, which, reportedly, was used for production of toxic substances.
As the newspaper reported, terrorists use not ‘full-scale’ chemical warfare agents such as sarin, soman or the VX neuropathic gas, but simpler chemical combinations that they obtain mainly from civil chemical products.
“Even mustard gas, using by terrorists’ units, does not have the same formula with the ‘classic’ mustard. Such substances are not persistent and lose its properties in just a few minutes,” Izvestiya noted.
However, there is serious concern about a possibility of usage of toxic substances in residential areas of the city, where, according to US military, about 1 million civilians are still living, and they have no protective means.
According to the newspaper, the latest developments in the Syrian city of Aleppo, where militants, seeking to break through the outer ring of defense of the Syrian Army at any costs, have repeatedly used toxical agents, without taking care about civilian casualties, indicate that chemical attacks are practically inevitable during the assault of Mosul.
As a result of the chemical attack in Aleppo on October 30, two soldiers of the Syrian Army were killed and 37 civilians were poisoned. Yesterday, militants once again used poison gas during an offensive of terrorists on the south-west of the Syrian city. However, the number of victims still has not been specified.