Skip to content

Technological Hazard – Chemical Warfare Events: Iraq and Iran, Kurdish Territory

2015/07/19

Technological Hazard, Chemical – Biological Warfare Event

Middle-East – Iraq and Iran | Kurdish Territory
Location:  33°13’23.5″N 43°40’45.4″E
Hazard Level: Dangerous
Deaths: unreported
Injured: unreported

https://i0.wp.com/shoebat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/western-iraq-eastern-syria-isis-map-jordan-saudi-arabia-february-3-2015.png

CHEMICAL WEAPONS – IRAQ, SYRIA: CHLORINE GAS, CONFIRMED USE
***********************************************************
Published Date: 2015-07-18 23:04:43
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Chemical weapons – Iraq, Syria: chlorine gas, confirmed use

Date: Fri 17 Jul 2015
Source: New York Times [edited]

ISIS Has Fired Chemical Mortar Shells, Evidence Indicates
———————————————————
The Islamic State appears to have manufactured rudimentary chemical warfare shells and attacked Kurdish positions in Iraq and Syria with them as many as 3 times in recent weeks, according to field investigators, Kurdish officials and a Western ordnance disposal technician who examined the incidents and recovered one of the shells.

The development, which the investigators said involved toxic industrial or agricultural chemicals repurposed as weapons, signaled a potential escalation of the group’s capabilities, though it was not entirely without precedent. Beginning more than a decade ago, Sunni militants in Iraq have occasionally used chlorine or old chemical warfare shells in makeshift bombs against American and Iraqi government forces. And Kurdish forces have claimed that militants affiliated with the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, used a chlorine-based chemical in at least one suicide truck bomb in Iraq this year [2015].

Firing chemical mortar shells across distances, however, as opposed to dispersing toxic chemicals via truck bombs or stationary devices, would be a new tactic for the group, and would require its munitions makers to overcome a significantly more difficult technical challenge.

Chemical weapons, internationally condemned and banned in most of the world, are often less lethal than conventional munitions, including when used in improvised fashion. But they are indiscriminate by nature and difficult to defend against without specialized equipment — traits that lend them potent psychological and political effects.

In the clearest recent incident, a 120-millimeter chemical mortar shell struck sandbag fortifications at a Kurdish military position near Mosul Dam on [21 or 22 Jun 2015], the investigators said, and caused several Kurdish fighters near where it landed to become ill. The shell did not explode and was recovered nearly intact on [29 Jun 2015] by Gregory Robin, a former French military ordnance disposal technician who now works for Sahan Research, a think tank partnered with Conflict Armament Research, a private organization that has been documenting and tracing weapons used in the conflict. Both research groups are registered in Britain. The tail of the shell had been broken, Mr. Robin said by telephone on Friday [17 Jul 2015], and was leaking a liquid that emanated a powerful odor of chlorine and caused irritation to the airways and eyes.

It was the 1st time, according to Mr. Robin and James Bevan, the director of Conflict Armament Research, that such a shell had been found in the conflict. In an internal report to the Kurdish government in Iraq, the research groups noted that the mortar shell appeared to have been manufactured in an “ISIS workshop by casting iron into mold method. The mortar contains a warhead filled with a chemical agent, most probably chlorine.”

Conflict Armament Research and Sahan Research often work with the Kurdistan Region Security Council. Mr. Robin and Mr. Bevan said the council had contracted a laboratory to analyze residue samples removed from the weapon. “Soon we should have an exact composition of the chemical in this projectile, but I am certain it is chlorine,” Mr. Robin said. He added, “What I don’t know is what kind of burster charge it had,” referring to the small explosive charge intended to break open the shell and distribute its liquid contents. The shell had not exploded, he said, because, inexplicably, it did not contain a fuse.

Whether any finding from tests underwritten by Kurdish authorities would be internationally recognized is uncertain, as the Kurdish forces are party to the conflict.

The week after Mr. Robin collected the shell, on [6 Jul 2015], another investigator found evidence that the research groups said indicated 2 separate attacks with chemical projectiles in Kurdish territory in the northeastern corner of Syria. Those attacks, at Tel Brak and Hasakah, occurred in late June [2015] and appeared to involve shells or small rockets containing an industrial chemical sometimes used as a pesticide, the investigators said.

In the incidents in Syria, Mr. Bevan said, multiple shells struck in agricultural fields near 3 buildings used by Kurdish militia forces known as the Y.P.G., or Peoples Protection Units, in Tel Brak. More shells, he said, landed in civilian areas in Hasakah; at least one struck a civilian home.
[Byline: C. J. Chivers]

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

******
Date: Sat 18 Jul 2015
Source: Voice of America [edited]

Report: IS May Have Used Chemical Agents on Kurds
————————————————-
Kurdish fighters and weapons experts say the Islamic State militant group has fired chemical weapons on Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq. Two Britain-based organizations investigating the attacks have released a joint statement saying Islamic State militants targeted Iraqi Kurdish fighters with a chemical agent on [21 or 22 Jun 2015]. A statement also described a similar attack on Kurdish positions in Syria’s northeastern Hasakeh province on [28 Jun 2015].

Investigators said projectiles launched at the Kurds released a yellow gas that caused burning in the eyes, nose and throat, as well as headaches, muscle pain, impaired mobility, and vomiting after prolonged exposure. Those exposed to the chemical were quickly given medical treatment and no one died.

Investigators also said Kurdish fighters have recently captured industrial-grade gas masks from Islamic State forces, indicating they are “prepared and equipped for chemical warfare.”

The US National Security Council, part of the Obama administration, has said it is aware of the reports and is monitoring the situation closely.

Kurdish fighters have played a vital role in the fight against the Islamic State group, which has seized territory in both Syria and Iraq, declaring a cross-border “caliphate” from which it claims to rule all Muslims. The Kurds have been working in cooperation with US-led airstrikes to regain some of that territory in northern Syria this year [2015].


Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts
<promed@promedmail.org>

[It is now clear and confirmed that the Islamic State has manufactured and deployed chemical weapons against the Kurds. – Mod.MHJ

A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at: http://healthmap.org/promed/p/89.]

ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases


CBRNE in Middle-East on Sunday, 19 July, 2015 at 03:13 (03:13 AM) UTC.

The Islamic State appears to have manufactured rudimentary chemical warfare shells and attacked Kurdish positions in Iraq and Syria with them as many as 3 times in recent weeks, according to field investigators, Kurdish officials and a Western ordnance disposal technician who examined the incidents and recovered one of the shells. The development, which the investigators said involved toxic industrial or agricultural chemicals repurposed as weapons, signaled a potential escalation of the group’s capabilities, though it was not entirely without precedent. Beginning more than a decade ago, Sunni militants in Iraq have occasionally used chlorine or old chemical warfare shells in makeshift bombs against American and Iraqi government forces. And Kurdish forces have claimed that militants affiliated with the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, used a chlorine-based chemical in at least one suicide truck bomb in Iraq this year [2015]. Firing chemical mortar shells across distances, however, as opposed to dispersing toxic chemicals via truck bombs or stationary devices, would be a new tactic for the group, and would require its munitions makers to overcome a significantly more difficult technical challenge.

Chemical weapons, internationally condemned and banned in most of the world, are often less lethal than conventional munitions, including when used in improvised fashion. But they are indiscriminate by nature and difficult to defend against without specialized equipment — traits that lend them potent psychological and political effects. In the clearest recent incident, a 120-millimeter chemical mortar shell struck sandbag fortifications at a Kurdish military position near Mosul Dam on [21 or 22 Jun 2015], the investigators said, and caused several Kurdish fighters near where it landed to become ill. The shell did not explode and was recovered nearly intact on [29 Jun 2015] by Gregory Robin, a former French military ordnance disposal technician who now works for Sahan Research, a think tank partnered with Conflict Armament Research, a private organization that has been documenting and tracing weapons used in the conflict. Both research groups are registered in Britain. The tail of the shell had been broken, Mr. Robin said by telephone on Friday [17 Jul 2015], and was leaking a liquid that emanated a powerful odor of chlorine and caused irritation to the airways and eyes. It was the 1st time, according to Mr. Robin and James Bevan, the director of Conflict Armament Research, that such a shell had been found in the conflict. In an internal report to the Kurdish government in Iraq, the research groups noted that the mortar shell appeared to have been manufactured in an “ISIS workshop by casting iron into mold method. The mortar contains a warhead filled with a chemical agent, most probably chlorine.”

Conflict Armament Research and Sahan Research often work with the Kurdistan Region Security Council. Mr. Robin and Mr. Bevan said the council had contracted a laboratory to analyze residue samples removed from the weapon. “Soon we should have an exact composition of the chemical in this projectile, but I am certain it is chlorine,” Mr. Robin said. He added, “What I don’t know is what kind of burster charge it had,” referring to the small explosive charge intended to break open the shell and distribute its liquid contents. The shell had not exploded, he said, because, inexplicably, it did not contain a fuse. Whether any finding from tests underwritten by Kurdish authorities would be internationally recognized is uncertain, as the Kurdish forces are party to the conflict. The week after Mr. Robin collected the shell, on [6 Jul 2015], anothervinvestigator found evidence that the research groups said indicated 2 separate attacks with chemical projectiles in Kurdish territory in the northeastern corner of Syria. Those attacks, at Tel Brak and Hasakah, occurred in late June [2015] and appeared to involve shells or small rockets containing an industrial chemical sometimes used as a pesticide, the investigators said. In the incidents in Syria, Mr. Bevan said, multiple shells struck in agricultural fields near 3 buildings used by Kurdish militia forces known as the Y.P.G., or Peoples Protection Units, in Tel Brak. More shells, he said, landed in civilian areas in Hasakah; at least one struck a civilian home.

Source: RSOE EDIS

Note:  CBRNE is an acronym for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high yield Explosives. These types of weapons have the ability to create both mass casualties as well as mass disruption of society.

See also:

CBRNE – Chemical Warfare Agents 

Chemical weapons – Syria: chlorine gas, alleged use 20150620.3449320
Chemical weapons – Iraq: chlorine gas exp 20150313.3227032
Chemical weapons, sarin, mustard gas – Libya: controlled by ISIS 20150228.3199627
2014
—-
Chemical weapons – Iraq: chlorine gas 20141030.2913879
Chemical weapons – Syria (03): chlorine gas susp 20140525.2496768
Chemical weapons – Syria (02): increased stillbirths & congenital abnormalities 20140514.2472785
Chemical weapons – Syria: suspected attack, RFI 20140414.2402387
Chemical weapon destruction – Libya 20140216.2281640
2013
—-
Chemical weapons – Germany: (ST) WWII site, alert 20131026.2021211
Chemical weapons – Syria (09): U.N. report, sarin conf. 20130916.1948586
Chemical weapons – Syria (08): USA response 20130904.1917433
Chemical weapons – Syria (07) 20130825.1900325
Chemical weapons – Syria (06): suspect attack, RFI 20130821.1892712
Chemical weapons – Syria (05): sarin 20130615.1774393
Chemical weapons – Syria (04): sarin 20130606.1757059
Chemical weapons – Syria (03): sarin 20130605.1755498
Chemical weapons – Syria (02): investigation 20130321.1597374
Chemical weapons – Syria: claims of civilian losses 20130320.1595751
2011
—-
Chemical weapons – Syria: alert 20110825.2590

Advertisements
Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s