An Iraqi official said the terrorist group of ISIL may use chemical weapons to protect its main Iraqi bastion of Mosul.
Informed sources said that after seizing chemical weapons in Syria, ISIL militants moved a large deal of those weapons to Mosul, in Iraq’s Northwestern Nineveh province, ARA News reported.
“ISIL has brought several shipments of chemical weapons, particularly chlorine and mustard agents, to Mosul earlier this week,” the head of Nineveh media center Raafat al-Zarari said.
The move comes ahead of the Mosul operation, planned by Iraqi Army troops.
The operation, which is expected to start within weeks, is aimed at capturing the city of Mosul from ISIL and expelling the terrorist group from its main bastion in Northern Iraq.
“If those reports are confirmed, we may face a more complex situation in the battle for Mosul than expected,” a Kurdish Peshmerga official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“We are aware of ISIL moves in Mosul. The group has recently changed its main positions inside the city and installed new checkpoints in Mosul suburb. The terrorist group is willing to put all of its strength in the upcoming battle for Mosul,” the official said.
“Using chemical agents during the fight is highly possible, and we’ll make our preparations for such a scenario.”
On 21 September, ISIL militants hit an Iraqi army base with shells that reportedly contained mustard agent.
According to a joint investigation by the United Nations and a chemical weapons watchdog, the ISIL group has used banned chemical weapons.