US military authority says IS chemical weapons expert killed

January 31, 2015 8:18 am
A
chemical weapons expert with the Islamic State (IS) militant group in
Iraq has been killed in a coalition airstrike, the US military has said.

Abu Malik’s training provided IS with “expertise to pursue a chemical weapons capability”, a statement said.

The coalition has carried out hundreds of strikes against IS in Iraq
He served as a chemical weapons engineer under former Iraqi
President Saddam Hussein, before joining al-Qaeda in Iraq and then IS,
the US said.
The US-led coalition has carried almost 2,000 strikes against IS targets.
Mr Malik was killed in a raid near Mosul on 24 January, according to the US.
His death is expected to “degrade and disrupt” IS and weaken
their ability to produce and use chemical weapons, the US military said.
There have been frequent reports of IS using chlorine gas,
but no evidence the group has accumulated a significant chemical weapons
cache.
Last year, Iraqi police officers suffered from dizziness and
vomiting after clashing with jihadist fighters north of Baghdad. It was
thought chlorine gas may have been to blame.
Chlorine gas is classified as a “choking agent”, burning the
lungs when inhaled in large quantities. But it is nowhere near as
dangerous as nerve gases.
Islamic State controls large areas of Syria, where the
government has been destroying its chemical weapons, but not all the
stockpiles have been accounted for.
The US and its allies has been targeting IS positions in Iraq
and Syria since last August, destroying military equipment and killing
the group’s fighters.
Military chiefs are hoping they can re-take the key city of Mosul with the help of Iraqi forces this spring.
But there are concerns that Iraqi troops are not yet ready to do the fighting needed on the ground.

Map showing IS control and support areas and attacks by IS

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