Iraqi forces are accusing so-called Islamic State of using chemical weapons in the fight to fully retake the city of Mosul from IS fighters.
“The Daesh terrorist gangs tried to block the advance of our forces by using shells filled with toxic chemical material, but the effect was limited,” an Iraqi military statement said Sunday, calling Islamic State by the Arabic acronym.
Iraqi officials gave no details of what kind of poison gas may have been used, and said the injuries were minor. Islamic State has not responded to the charge.
Iraqi forces are in their sixth month of a push to retake Mosul from Islamic State. They took control of eastern Mosul earlier this year and now have their sights on the western part of the city, including the symbolically important al-Nuri mosque in Mosul’s Old City.
Iraqi police say Islamic State militants also are using suicide bombers on motorcycles to navigate the Old City’s narrow streets.