Report: Photographs of Kurdish fighters' bodies suggest chemical weapons use by ISIS

'MERIA' Journal obtains pictures of fighters killed in July battle with Islamic State marked by "burns and white spots...without any visible wounds or external bleeding.”

October 12, 2014 15:06
1 minute read.
Chemical weapons

Chemical weapons disposal [file]. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Photographs obtained by the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA Journal) which were published on Sunday appear to support claims that the Islamic State used chemical weapons against Kurdish fighters in the Kobani enclave on at least one occasion in the past.

The Syrian town near the Turkish border is currently under siege and in danger of falling under Islamic State control, bringing on fears of a potential massacre.

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The current siege of Kobani is not the first attempt by Islamic State to capture the town. It has been suggested that during a previous attempt, in July, IS unleashed a chemical agent on Kurdish fighters.

Kurdish activists had previously claimed that the chemical attack occurred on July 12, in the village of Avdiko in Kobani. According to health minister of the Kurdish authority in Kobani, Nisan Ahmed, the bodies of three Kurdish fighters killed in battles with IS were not damaged by bullets, but instead were marked by "burns and white spots...without any visible wounds or external bleeding.”

The MERIA Journal on Sunday published a number of photographs of the three Kurdish fighters, quoting expert Israeli sources as saying they appear to suggest that a chemical agent, likely mustard, was used. The experts added, however, that further information was needed to conclusively say that the fighters died from a chemical attack.

MERIA suggests that the chemical weapons may have been obtained following Islamic State's capture of the Muthanna compound, 35 miles north-west of Iraq. A 2007 CIA report cited by the journal, stated that the Muthana compound was used to make chemical weapons, including mustard agent.

This would suggest that not only was a chemical agent used in the July 12 attack, but Islamic State could possess additional stockpiles of chemical arms.


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