Press TV- The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group has used chemical weapons in at least 52 incidents since 2014 in Iraq and Syria and it may resort to such warfare to slow the Iraqi forces in Mosul, says a UK-based conflict monitoring group.
According to a report released by the IHS Conflict Monitor on Tuesday, over one third of the attacks, including ones with chlorine and sulfur mustard gas, were launched around the Iraqi city of Mosul, which is currently the focus of major operations to liberate the city from the terrorists.
The IHS report, compiled from information gained from local news reports, social media and Daesh propaganda, concludes that as Iraqi forces make further gains against the terrorists in Mosul, Daesh may use further chemical attacks to hinder their progress.
“As the Daesh loses ground around Mosul, there is a high risk of the group using chemical weapons to slow down and demoralize advancing enemy forces,” said IHS head Columb Strack. “And to potentially make an example of — and take revenge on — civilian dissidents within the city.”
“Mosul was at the center of the Daesh chemical weapons production,” he added, noting that, “But most of the equipment and experts were probably evacuated to Syria in the weeks and months leading up to the Mosul offensive, along with convoys of other senior members and their families.”
Iraqi army soldiers and allied fighters have been leading a major offensive to retake Mosul, the last Daesh stronghold in the country, since October 17.
Mosul fell to Daesh two years ago, when the terror outfit began its campaign of death and destruction in northern and western Iraq.