(Times of Israel) Kurdish health officials and activists in the besieged town of Kobani claim to possess evidence that Islamic State operatives have used chemical agents as a weapon on at least one occasion during clashes with Kurdish fighters along Syria’s northern border.
According to several reports, which were compiled by the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center’s Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, the use of the toxins by the Islamic State took place on July 12 in the village of Avdiko, 10 days after the rogue Jihadi group launched an offensive on the Kobani enclave, near the Turkish border.
Nisan Ahmed, the health minister of the Kurdish authority in Kobani, said that in a number of photographs showing Kurdish fighters who had been killed during the battle in Avdiko, no visible wounds or external bleeding could be seen on the bodies, whereas severe burns and white spots were clearly visible. Ahmed asserted that the (graphic) photos, which were later obtained and posted online by the Middle East Review of International Affairs journal, suggest the fighters had died as a result of exposure to chemical toxins.
While it still remains unclear whether chemical agents were actually used by the Islamic State, Israeli experts who examined the photographs said the wounds, which included severe peeling of the skin and heavy blistering, suggested the Kurdish fighters had been exposed to mustard gas, the GLORIA Center reported. The experts added, however, that more data was needed to form a definitive conclusion.
In early July, shortly before the attack on Kobani, officials in Iraq reported that the Islamic State had taken control of a vast former chemical weapons facility northwest of Baghdad, where 2,500 chemical rockets filled with the deadly nerve agent sarin, or their remnants, were stored along with other chemical warfare agents.