Kurdish officials in Iraq announced on Saturday that they are in possession of evidence that the militant group Islamic State used chlorine gas against their peshmerga fighters. This is just the latest atrocity alleged to have been carried out by the radical extremist group now being attacked heavily in Tikrit.
This allegation made by the Kurdistan Security Council stems from a suicide truck bomb on January 23 in northern Iraq. There was no immediate reaction from Islamic State after the Kurds made their announcement. However, official in Iraq and Kurds battling in Syria have made allegations that are similar about the group using chemical weapons of a low grade against them.
In a prepared statement, the Kurdish council said the alleged attack with chemical weapons took place between Mosul and the border of Syria on a roadway as the peshmerga forces fought in an attempt to seize the vital supply line the Sunni militants used. The council said the fighters later located close to 20 gas canisters, which had been loaded onto a truck involved in the attack.
Video provided by the council showed one truck driving down the road with white smoking pouring from it when it came under fire from the Kurdish fighters.
It showed a short time later the truck with billowing white smoke after it had exploded and its remnants were scattered along the road.
A Kurdish council official said that dozens of fighters from the peshmerga had to be treated for nausea, vomiting, dizziness and weakness following the truck bomb attack.
The Kurds also said that clothing and soil samples from the area had been analyzed by a lab in a coalition nation and had been found to contain traces of chlorine.
There was no confirmation from an independent source over the claim by the Kurds, said a spokesperson from the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. That organization monitored the dismantling in Syria of its stockpile of chemical weapons and the spokesperson said the group was not asked to conduct an investigation.