The Spokesperson for the Operation Inherent Resolve Colonel Ryan Dillon told Sputnik on Friday that the US-led coalition forces have uncovered and destroyed chemical weapons that were in the hands of the Daesh terror group.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — “We have seen a nascent and ineffective use of chemical weapons by ISIS [Daesh] in both Iraq and in Syria,” Dillon told Sputnik in a phone interview from Baghdad. “We have found them and we have gone after them and ripped them apart.”
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Researchers and analysts have recorded dozens of instances in which Daesh has used chemical weapons in Syria and Iraq, warning that the terror group is more likely to employ such tactics as its caliphate crumbles.
“We have found in a couple different instances mortars or RPGs, rocket-propelled grenades, with some type of chemical that has been used in an attempt to use those as chemical weapons,” Dillon said, adding the coalition forces also found stockpiles of largely industrial types of chemical material that could be used when mixed together. The coalition had destroyed the weapons, he added.
Dillon said the coalition has continued to identify and dismantle Daesh capabilities as the war against the terror group enters its final phase.
“We’ve been ripping apart their ability to do these things, whether that’s chemical, whether that’s their drone networks, whether that’s their ability to their propaganda arm … their ability to finance, resource, conduct external operations,” Dillon said. “We’ve absolutely torn apart those networks and we’re continuing to do that.”
The use of chemical arms in Syria has become a highly politically charged issue. Experts from the United Nations and chemical weapons watchdog on Thursday issued a report accusing the Syrian government of waging a sarin nerve gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun in April that killed more than 90 people.
The Syrian government denies carrying out the attack. Russia has said that the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism’s probe into the attack has failed to answer key questions.