ISIL (Daesh) militants have used chlorine gas during attacks on various locations in the capital of Iraq’s Anbar province, officials say.
“Today, elements of the ISIS (ISIL) group have shelled some of the security checkpoints and residential areas in Ramadi with chlorine gas-imbued bombs,” the Iraqi News Gazette quoted a member of Anbar’s Provincial Council, Farhan Mohammed, as saying on Wednesday.
Chlorine, an industrial chemical, can suffocate its victims to death when weaponized and is banned in accordance to the 1997 chemical weapons convention.
The official added that several cases of suffocation have so far been reported by the city’s security forces and residents.
Mohammad went on to say this is not the first time ISIL has used chlorine in its attacks in the western Iraqi city as a similar attack was reported two months ago.
On Monday, Iraqi forces retook key areas in and around Ramadi from ISIL with the help of volunteer forces.
Meanwhile, the United Nations refugee agency said that in excess of 114,000 people have fled the clashes in Ramadi over the past two weeks.
Iraqi Police Major Omar al-Alawni said that Iraqi soldiers regained control of Ramadi’s Pediatric and Maternity Hospital and the neighborhood around following heavy clashes with the Takfiri militants.
ISIL launched an offensive in Iraq in June last year and took control of Mosul, the country’s second-largest city, before sweeping through parts of the country’s heartland.
The terrorists have committed heinous crimes and threatened all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians during their advances in Iraq.
Iraqi soldiers, police units, Kurdish forces, Shia fighters and Sunni tribesmen have been engaged in joint operations to drive the terrorists out of the areas they have seized.
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