En mand højt oppe i IS-systemet med ansvar for kemiske våben, har fortalt amerikanerne at IS har lykkedes at lave sennepsgas i pulverform og fylde artillerigranater med giften.
Manden blev taget til fange af amerikanske spesialstyrker for en måned siden og sidder i fangenskab i kurdiske Erbil.
Defense officials said the detainee, described by the military as a “significant” Islamic State operative who was captured a month ago by commandos in an elite American Special Operations force, has, under interrogation, provided his captors with details about how the group had weaponized mustard gas into powdered form and loaded it into artillery shells.
En amerikansk tjenestemand sier giften ikke er kraftig nok til at dræbe, men at den kan skade mennesker. Eller, kan man tilføye: Udløse panik.
The chemical weapons specialist was captured last month, shortly after the arrival in Iraq of a new Special Operations force that is made up primarily of Delta Force commandos. They are the first major American combat force on the ground there since the United States pulled out of the country at the end of 2011.
IS har tidligere brugt kemiske våben mot kurdiske peshmerga. New York Times havde en story av J.C. Chivers 17. juli 2015: 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 three 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.
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.