American officials say the Daesh Takfiri group may resort to launching chemical attacks in the fight to hold its grip on Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul.
Speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, multiple American sources said Tuesday that attacks involving chemical agents are possible, given the terror group’s previous record of such attempts.
Tuesday marked the second day of military operations by the Iraqi army, volunteer Shia and Sunni fighters as well as Kurdish Peshmerga forces to liberate the city of Mosul, the last stronghold of Daesh Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, which they overran in June 2014.
US forces are also taking part in the operation, where they remain in the “harm’s way,” as put by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on Monday.
The unnamed US officials cautioned of possible use of chemical weapons by Daesh, yet arguing that the group has limited capability in this regard.
“Given ISIL’s reprehensible behavior and flagrant disregard for international standards and norms, this event is not surprising,” one official told Reuters.
The official added that the US forces found a sulfur mustard agent on Daesh munitions fragments on October 5.
According to the US officials, The Takfiri group has so far failed to reach the know-how to build chemical weapons with significantly lethal effects.
The remarks came one day after the Iraqi forces launched the long-anticipated battle.
Out of the 5,000 American military forces present in Iraq, more than 100 of them are taking part in the operation supposedly as advisors.
Apart from that, the United States and some its allies have been carrying out air strikes in Iraq since June 2014 allegedly targeting Daesh terrorists in the northern and western parts of the conflict-plagued Arab country.