A report from CNN says that ISIS is suspected of bombing US and Iraqi troops with mustard gas on Tuesday at the Qayyara air base in Iraq. After the artillery shell or rocket landed at the base, which is south of Mosul, it was tested and came back positive to a chemical weapon, likely mustard gas (also known as sulfur mustard).
The oily black substance was tested twice- the first time yielded a positive result, the second a negative one. It has been sent to the lab for analysis.
Exposure can cause severe blistering, burns, damage to the eyes and respiratory system. No troops have shown any signs of mustard gas exposure from this attack. US troops are issued preventative equipment.
Officials say it was “poorly weaponized” and “ineffective.” Good. Let’s keep it that way, shall we?
Qayyara air base was wrested from the hands of ISIS in July 2016.
First time this close
“US troops involved in the incident went through decontamination showers as a precaution. No troops have shown any symptoms of exposure, such as skin blistering. CNN has reported on previous instances where ISIS has fired rounds with mustard agents in Iraq and Syria.
“I don’t know of a case like this where it was proximate to US forces like this before,” said one military official, noting that “potentially” the rocket round was “within hundreds of yards” of the US forces and “within the security perimeter” of the base.
The US officials said they “had expected” that ISIS might try use chemical weapons as US and Iraqi forces push towards Mosul in an effort to take the city back from ISIS. Several hundred US troops are using the base as a staging area for supporting Iraqi forces.”
ISIS is known to manufacture mustard gas, and the US has hit their manufacturing sites in air strikes previously. Mustard gas has been used in chemical warfare since WWI. In the 1980s, hundreds of troops were killed and injured by it during the Iran-Iraq War.