US troops ordered to gear up for ISIL chemical attack in Iraq
Iran Press TV
Sep 5, 2015 7:34AM
The US Defense Department has ordered its nearly 3,500 troops stationed in Iraq to prepare their chemical attack gears amid increasing reports that suggest the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group has obtained more chemical weapons.
During a briefing over the weekend, a Pentagon official told reporters that this “is a precautionary measure,” and the US military is prepared to handle a chemical attack by ISIL.
“The commanders in the field are making sure their troops are properly prepared for the threats they may face,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peer Cook said on Thursday.
Earlier in the week, the defense officials had confirmed the ISIL’s use of a “mustard agent” against Kurdish Peshmerga fighters on August 11 in the Iraqi city of Makhmur, southwest of Erbil.
“[We] were able to take the fragments from some of those mortar rounds and do a field test, a presumptive field test on those fragments and they showed the presence of HD, or what is known as sulfur mustard. That is a class one chemical agent,” Brigadier General Kevin J. Killea, chief of staff, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a video-teleconference from The Pentagon.
Last week, the Kurdistan Region Security Council said in a statement that the Takfiri Daesh terrorists have fired a rocket suspected of carrying chemical weapons at the Kurdish Peshmerga forces guarding the Mosul Dam.
The attack produced considerable amount of “yellow smoke,” according to the report. There were no significant injuries reported.
“This is one of an increasing number of attacks in recent months suspected of carrying chemical substances," the statement added, pointing to an earlier attack that was confirmed to deliver a chlorine payload.
US media outlets cited multiple sources as saying that the government has test results from the militant attack in the Syrian town from two weeks ago that confirm the terror group used the mustard agent.
Turkey also unsafe for Americans
US officials have urged hundreds of military and diplomatic family members near Incirlik air base in southern Turkey to leave the country, pointing to major concerns about security threats in the region.
According to US Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, the move follows threats of lone wolf attacks by ISIL terrorists against the base and the American people around it.
The decision affects only the families of US troops at Incirlik and diplomats at the consulate in nearby city of Adana.
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