The Associated Press
BAGHDAD — The Latest in the monthlong campaign to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State group (all times local):
A new analysis has found that the Islamic State group has used chemical weapons at least 52 times since 2014 in Iraq and Syria, including 19 times in the Mosul area alone.
It says there’s a high risk that the group will deploy the weapons again in Mosul against civilians or the military forces trying to retake the northern Iraqi city. IHS Markit released the analysis on Tuesday.
The analysis says Mosul was a center for chemical weapons production for the Sunni militant group, but experts believe IS moved the materials and experts to Syria ahead of the U.S.-backed Iraqi offensive that began last month.
IHS concluded that chlorine and mustard agents are the most likely chemicals to be used in Mosul.
Iraq’s foreign minister says progress in liberating the northern city of Mosul has been slowed by the Islamic State group’s use of civilians as human shields.
Ibrahim al-Jaafari said during a visit to Hungary on Tuesday that 1,700 IS fighters have been killed and 120 captured in the battle for Mosul so far.
He says one third of the Ninevah province, where Mosul is the capital, has been freed from IS.
Al-Jaafari says 62,000 refugees have left the city — much fewer than was expected by authorities — and that Iraq is “prepared to receive many more.”
Al-Jaafari, who signed a double taxation agreement with his Hungarian counterpart, Peter Szijjarto, also said Iraq needed to increase its crude oil output, which he said provided 90 percent of state budget revenues, and be exempt from OPEC output quotas because of its “extraordinary situation.”
A senior Iraqi commander says troops are moving to take another neighborhood in the eastern sector of the northern city of Mosul but are meeting stiff resistance from Islamic State militants.
Brig. Gen. Haider Fadel of the special forces tells The Associated Press that IS fighters are targeting his forces with rockets and mortars as they slowly advance in the densely populated al-Zohour neighborhood on Tuesday.
He says they’re “cautiously advancing.”
Iraq’s military launched a campaign on Oct. 17 to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city and the last major IS urban bastion in the country. Most gains have been made by the special forces operating east of the Tigris River. Other forces are advancing on the city from different directions, and the U.S.-led coalition is providing airstrikes and other support.
This story has been corrected to show that the Islamic State group is believed to have used chemical weapons 52 times in Iraq and Syria since 2014, not 71 times.
ISIS Used Chemical Arms at Least 52 Times in Syria and Iraq, Report Says
WASHINGTON — The Islamic State has used chemical weapons, including chlorine and sulfur mustard agents, at least 52 times on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq since it swept to power in 2014, according to a new independent analysis.
More than one-third of those chemical attacks have come in and around Mosul, the Islamic State stronghold in northern Iraq, according to the assessment by the IHS Conflict Monitor, a London-based intelligence collection and analysis service.
The IHS conclusions, which are based on local news reports, social media and Islamic State propaganda, mark the broadest compilation of chemical attacks in the conflict. American and Iraqi military officials have expressed growing alarm over the prospect of additional chemical attacks as the allies press to regain both Mosul and Raqqa, the Islamic State capital in Syria.
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