The Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has been accused of carrying out a chemical attack in Mosul last week, which, if confirmed, would appear to be the first time it has used this tactic during its battle with Iraqi government forces to retake control of the city.
The use of chemicals as a weapon is a war crime. It is also a serious threat to both civilians and combatants, particularly in a city as densely populated as Mosul.
Yet this latest reported chemical attack would not be ISIS’s first in Iraq. After Iraqi troops retook the town of Qayyarah, 60 kilometers south of Mosul last year, ISIS launched at least three chemical attacks in September and October.