ISIS may have attacked a US base in Iraq with chemical agent
This evening we are in the process or bringing breaking news. Therefore, be assured that we are being as careful as possible and checking our sources in a timely fashion.
The U.S. military says a rocket that landed within several hundred yards of U.S. troops at a base in northern Iraq may have contained a mustard agent. The US base outside Qayyarah, 25 miles south of Mosul, came under rocket fire, and traces of a “mustard agent” were believed to be present, the official said.
No one was hurt in the attack on Qayara West air base, according to a U.S. military official who discussed details on condition that he not be identified. Several hundred U.S. troops are on the base.
A Pentagon official told reporters that a “tar-like black oily substance” was found on one of the shells that landed within the base, only hundreds of yards from U.S. forces. An initial test for the agent was positive, but “could be false,” the official said. The second test was negative, possibly because the shell had been exposed to the elements.
The official said the base is attacked “fairly often” with conventional weapons, but Tuesday’s assault is believed to be the first chemical attack on U.S. forces in Iraq since they returned to the country in 2014. Nearly 5,000 U.S. troops are currently on the ground in Iraq and “hundreds” of those forces are located at the base, the official said.
The official says the attack Tuesday was militarily insignificant. He says a small group of U.S. soldiers who inspected remnants of the rocket found a black, oily substance on a fragment of metal. An initial test of the substance showed it contained residue of mustard agent, but a second test was negative.
The fragment has been sent to a laboratory for further testing. Mosul is the last major Iraqi city controlled by ISIS, which overran much of the country three years ago. We are anxious to hear from the president; remember, it was he who did not hold to his line in the sand.