The Joint Operations Command announced on Monday, that 29 civilians were either killed or wounded in an attack launched by ISIS, using missiles containing chemical materials, east of the city of Mosul, IraqiNews.com reports.
Colonel Khodier Saleh said in a press statement, “The Islamic State group attacked the areas of Markaz Street, al-Numaniyah, northern Garage and al-Aramel with missiles containing chemical materials.”
“The shelling resulted in the killing of four civilians, as well as wounding 25 others,” Saleh explained. “The wounded suffered severe asphyxiation due to inhaling toxic gases,” he further added.
Furthermore, Saleh declared that the ISIS extremist group also attacked the areas in eastern Mosul using drones and mortar shells.
And Al Jazeera reports that 12 people, including women and children, are being treated for possible exposure to chemical weapons agents in Mosul, where ISIS is fighting off an offensive by US-backed Iraqi forces, according to the UN.
The UN’s World Health Organization said in a statement on Saturday that with partners and local health authorities it activated “an emergency response plan to safely treat men, women and children who may be exposed to the highly toxic chemical”.
Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, called for an investigation.
“This is horrible. If the alleged use of chemical weapons is confirmed, this is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and a war crime, regardless of who the targets or the victims of the attacks are,” she said in a statement.
The UN said all 12 patients had been received since March 1 for treatment which they are undergoing in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdish region, east of Mosul.
Four of them are showing “severe signs associated with exposure to a blister agent”.
The patients were reportedly exposed to the chemical agents in the eastern side of Mosul.
Reporting from Erbil, Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker, who visited the hospital where the patients were being treated, said: “I saw a young boy, about eight or nine years old, and his entire body had burn marks, black and brown marks, all across his body.
“The manager of the hospital told us when these patients came in, the emanated a very strong odour, which is one of the side effects of being affected by these chemical gases.”
The hospital manager was “certain that some form of chemical gas has been used”, our correspondent said.
So far, no investigation into the use of chemical weapons has been launched.