A high-ranking Iraqi military commander says Takfiri Daesh terrorists have used internationally-banned chemical weapons in a recent attack on the liberated areas in eastern Mosul as government forces and their allies are pushing to expel the extremists out of the country’s second largest city.
The commander of the Iraqi rapid response forces, Captain Sa’adon Khaled al-Ramadani, said on Thursday that the extremists lobbed a barrage of Katyusha rockets containing chlorine gas on al-Maliyah, Nabi Yunus and al-Faisaliyah neighborhoods of Mosul, located some 400 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad, English-language online newspaper Iraqi News reported.
A number of people were reportedly transferred to medical centers and hospitals after suffering severe poisoning with the toxic gas.
Noureddin Qablan, the deputy chief of the Nineveh Provincial Council, announced that a woman and her two children suffered skin burns and dyspnea after rockets laced with mustard gas slammed into Mosul’s al-Samah and Northern Karaj neighborhoods.
Qablan added that the trio were transferred to a hospital in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, to receive medical treatment.
Separately, a local source, requesting anonymity, said Daesh’s so-called director for religious affairs, his son and one of his close aides were killed during clashes with Iraqi security forces in Mosul’s western neighborhood of Wadi Hajar.
British Daesh medics killed while fleeing Mosul
Meanwhile, two British medical students, who joined Daesh after studying medicine in the Sudanese capital city of Khartoum, were killed during a firefight in northern Iraq.
Ahmed Sami Kheder and Hisham Fadlallah are reported to have been killed as they fled Mosul in a convoy at the weekend.
On February 19, Iraqi government troops and fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units – commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi – mounted a new offensive to liberate western Mosul.
International aid organizations have warned against the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of civilians from western Mosul.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says some 8,000 people have fled western Mosul since the Iraqi forces launched their operations to rid that part of the city from Daesh terrorists.
The UN humanitarian aid agency announced on Tuesday that it was increasing its displacement camps to cope with the rising number of those escaping the battlefield.