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US to investigate if ISIS used chemical weapons in Iraq

27 October, 2014

WASHINGTON: The United States is to investigate whether terrorist Islamic State (IS) used chemical weapons in Iraq, Secretary of State John Kerry has said.

Kerry said he was looking into "extremely serious" allegations that IS attacked Iraqi police officers with chlorine gas last month. Speaking on a visit to South Korea, Kerry said the claims were unconfirmed.

In September, France, Germany and the UK said it was "probable" IS had chlorine gas. Kerry said "the use of any chemical weapon is an abhorrent act; it is against international law".

But persistent reports from Iraq say they have been using chlorine gas, which is classed as "a choking agent". Though not as deadly as nerve agents, if inhaled in sufficient quantities it can burn victims' lungs as well as generating fear, panic and a high number of casualties.


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