The ISIL Takfiri militants had used toxic chemical arms to prevent the advance of Iraqi forces on the newly-liberated city of Tikrit in northern Iraq, Press TV reports.
Chemical materials, including chlorine gas and ammonium nitrate, were found in the explosive devices planted by ISIL terrorists on roads and inside houses in Tikirit to be used against the Iraqi troops and volunteer forces battling to liberate the northern strategic city.
The same explosives were also found in car bombs used against government forces as well as Shia and Sunni volunteer forces, who managed to retake control of Tikrit from the ISIL last month.
Chlorine, an industrial chemical, can suffocate its victims to death when used as a weapon.
In an interview with Press TV, Kamel Amin, spokesman for Iraq’s Human Rights Ministry, expressed concern about the use of banned weapons by the ISIL extremists.
“ISIL has no morals in war or commitment to international conventions; therefore, we could expect anything from the terrorist group. They use anything they have against civilians,” Amin added.
Press TV correspondent, Rahshan Salglam, and her team visited one of ISIL’s former strongholds in Tikrit, which was found laden with bags of ammonium nitrate – a chemical which will create highly explosive mixtures that are particularly suitable for car bombs when mixed with various other chemicals.
Tikrit was seized by ISIL in June last year. The city’s recapture is crucial for the Iraqi army in its quest to take control of the country’s second-largest city, Mosul.
Warnings over ISIL chemical weapons usage
The recent discovery of ISIL’s chemical stash in Tikrit comes weeks after the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) reported that the terrorist group had used chlorine gas in their explosive devices against the Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq in January.
Iraqi officials and Kurds fighting in Syria have given similar reports about the use of chemical weapons by ISIL terrorists.
In October 2014, Iraqi officials said ISIL terrorists might have used chlorine-filled cylinders during fighting in late September that year in the towns of Balad and Duluiya.
ISIL started its campaign of terror in Iraq in early June 2014. The heavily-armed militants took control of the country’s northern city of Mosul before sweeping through parts of the country’s Sunni Arab heartland.
Iraqi soldiers, police units, Kurdish forces, Shia volunteers and Sunni tribesmen have succeeded in driving the ISIL terrorists out of some areas in Iraq.