Evidence found: Daesh fired chemical mortars

Updated 18 July 2015

Evidence found: Daesh fired chemical mortars

BEIRUT: Daesh fired chemical weapons against Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq last month, Kurdish fighters and weapons experts have said.

The Conflict Armament Research (CAR) group and Sahan Research said in a statement Friday that Daesh targeted Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga with a projectile filled with a chemical agent on June 21 or 22.
The organizations also documented two such attacks against Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria’s northeastern Hasakeh province on June 28.
The YPG said the attacks targeted the Kurdish-held Salhiya district of Hasakeh city and Kurdish positions south of the town of Tel Brak.
“Upon impact, the projectiles released a yellow gas with a strong smell of rotten onions,” the YPG said in a statement on Friday.
It added that the ground around the impact sites was stained with a liquid that was green at first but turned yellow on contact with sunlight.
“Our troops exposed to the gas experienced burning of the throat, eyes and nose, combined with severe headaches, muscle pain and impaired concentration and mobility. Prolonged exposure to the chemicals also caused vomiting.”
The YPG reported no deaths in the attacks and said that exposed forces subsequently recovered from their symptoms.
They added that YPG fighters had captured industrial-grade gas masks from Daesh forces in recent weeks “confirming that they are prepared and equipped for chemical warfare along this sector of the front.”
CAR and Sahan Research, who conducted research in coordination with Kurdish forces, said in a joint statement that seven projectiles were fired in the Hasakeh city attack, and 17 in the attack near Tal Brak.
They said urine samples taken from those affected in the Tal Brak attack tested positive for a compound that is commonly found in agricultural pesticides.
Meanwhile, Daesh executed an Iraqi journalist in the northern city of Mosul on charges of spying, local officials and colleagues said Saturday. Jala Al-Abadi was taken from his home with his phone and laptop on June 4 and executed on Wednesday by firing squad after being sentenced by a Daesh court.
A former senior security officer in the area and a medical source in Mosul confirmed the young journalist’s death.
The father of two was born in 1988 and had worked as a cameraman for a local channel before Daesh took over Iraq’s second city in June 2014.
He left his city then but, according to a someone who was close to the journalist, he returned to Mosul for personal reasons. He did not elaborate.
Abadi was arrested when he tried to leave again and charged by Daesh, which has run the city since June 10 last year, with “leaking information” about the group to the national press.
Mohammed Al-Bayati, the head of the Nineveh Media Network, condemned the latest execution and urged the United Nations to support the families of murdered journalists.


Let militants return home, French anti-terror magistrate urges

In this file photo taken on July 22, 2019 French antiterrorist judge David De Pas poses during a photo session in Paris. (AFP)
Updated 21 October 2019

Let militants return home, French anti-terror magistrate urges

  • Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish militia in northeast Syria has sparked fears that some of the 12,000 militants, including thousands of foreigners, being held in Syrian Kurdish prisons could escape

PARIS: The refusal of the French government to take back Daesh militants from Syria could fuel a new militant recruitment drive in France, threatening public safety, a leading anti-terrorism investigator has told AFP.
David De Pas, coordinator of France’s 12 anti-terrorism examining magistrates, said it would be “better to know that these people are in the care of the judiciary” in France “than let them roam free.”
Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish militia in northeast Syria has sparked fears that some of the 12,000 militants, including thousands of foreigners, being held in Syrian Kurdish prisons could escape.
Officials in Paris say 60 to 70 French fighters are among those held, with around 200 adults, including militants’ wives, being held in total, along with some 300 children.

SPEEDREAD

France has refused to allow the adults return home, saying they must face local justice. So far Paris has only taken back a handful of children, mostly orphans.

France has refused to allow the adults return home, saying they must face local justice. So far Paris has only taken back a handful of children, mostly orphans.
This week, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian traveled to Iraq to try convince Baghdad to take in and try French militants being held in northern Syria. On Friday, in a rare interview, De Pas argued that instability in the region and the “porous nature” of the Syrian Kurdish prison camps risked triggering “uncontrolled migration of jihadists to Europe, with the risk of attacks by very ideological people.”
The Turkish offensive, which has detracted the Kurds’ attention from fighting Daesh, could also facilitate the “re-emergence of battle-hardened, determined terrorist groups.”