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SyriaISIS uses mustard gas against Syrian forces in battle for airport

Published 5 April 2016

ISIS has used mustard gas against Bashar al-Assad’s forces in battles at a key airport in eastern Syria. The chemical weapons were used as part of the militants’ effort on Monday to recapture the military airport at Deir ez-Zor. UN officials confirmed that ISIS has the capability to build and use chemical weapons in Syria and Iraq.

Flag of the Islamic State // Source: commons.wikimedia.org

ISIS has used mustard gas against Bashar al-Assad’s forces in battles at a key airport in eastern Syria. The chemical weapons were used as part of the militants’ effort on Monday to recapture the military airport at Deir ez-Zor.

The International Business Times reports that Syrian television reports did not offer information on the number of casualties sustained in the gas attack.

“The terrorists fired rockets carrying mustard gas,” said a statement said on the state-owned Ikhbariyah television station.

IBT notes that Deir ez-Zor’s airport has been the focus of fights among ISIS, rival rebel groups, and regime forces since the beginning f the civil war five years ago. The city sits on important routes linking ISIS-controlled areas in western and northern Syria with Iraq.

ISIS has used mustard gas before, mostly against Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria, but also against Turkmen groups in Iraq. Last month, Turkmen rebels reported mustard gas shelling in northern Iraq, and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed that the chemical weapons used in the attack killed several civilians in the Syrian town of Marea in August.

UN investigators reported in February that the Syrian military used small amounts of sarin gas in dozens of attacks on rebel forces, even though Syria was supposed to turn over all of its chemical weapons stock to UN inspectors.