IS militants plan to use banned mustard gas in Iraq, Syria

Washington, March 10 (IANS) Militants of the Islamic State (IS) had planned to use mustard gas in Iraq and Syria, US media reported on Wednesday, quoting US defence officials.

Defence officials said that an IS detainee who was captured last month in Iraq by US special operations force, revealed this during interrogation, Xinhua reported.

The IS operative was identified by US defence officials as Sleiman Daoud al-Afari, a chemical and biological weapons expert who once worked for Iraq’s Saddam Hussein government. He is currently held at a temporary detention facility in Erbil, Iraq, The New York Times reported.

Quoting US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the newspaper said that the mustard gas, weaponised by the IS into powered form, was believed to be not concentrated enough to kill anyone.

The detainee would be handed over to the Iraqi and Kurdish authorities instead of being held indefinitely by the US military, the report said, adding that the Pentagon did not intend to establish a long-term US facility to hold IS detainees.

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