Home News Islamic State terror group used chemical weapons, say UN experts

Islamic State terror group used chemical weapons, say UN experts

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UN experts have uncovered evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the jihadist group Islamic State during the time of its self-declared caliphate, says a report which was to be debated on Monday December 5 by the Security Council .

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Members of Unitad, the investigative team tasked with helping to bring ISIS to account for its crimes, claim to have collected “testimonial, digital and documentary evidence” relating in particular to the use of chemical weapons in Iraq under the Caliphate (2014-2019).

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“Chemical Dispersal Devices”

Experts conclude that IS “manufactured and produced chemical rockets and mortars, chemical rocket launcher ammunition, chemical missile warheads and improvised explosive devices”.

The investigation focused on “to the financing, supply and logistics of (ISIS) and its links with command elements, to better understand what were the alleged sites of manufacture, production and use of weapons in Iraq, to obtain additional information on the agents produced (…) and the vectors used”.

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The experts have particularly focused on an attack perpetrated against Taza Khormatu on March 8, 2016. They claim to have collected “a significant amount of evidence”notably “payroll statements and items of correspondence” of the jihadist group.

The team “examined evidence of compensation from families for the ‘martyrdom’ of their members killed while handling chemical weapons (…) and records of training given (…) to high-ranking officers on the use of chemical weapons. chemical substances as weapons, including chemical dispersal devices”.

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Major Crimes

Among the products used were “aluminum phosphide, chlorine, Clostridium botulinum bacteria, cyanide, nicotine, ricin, and thallium sulfate”. The report highlights “the medical complications currently suffered by residents of Taza Khormatu (chronic diseases, cancers and reproductive disorders, in particular)”.

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It also discusses other major crimes, including mass sexual violence, the persecution of the Christian community of Iraq and other communities, as well as the destruction of cultural and religious heritage.

The jihadists had established in June 2014 a “caliphate” in a vast region straddling Iraq and Syria. An international coalition, led by the United States, had fought the organization until the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), dominated by the Kurds, seized in March 2019 the last stronghold of the IS, Baghouz (eastern Syria), marking the end of the “caliphate”.

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