The troops have undergone decontamination procedures…
BREAKING: News agencies are reporting this afternoon on an apparent chemical attack carried out by ISIS against American and Iraqi troops. Chemical agents are known for their inhumane, horrific effects.
CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr reported that no U.S. troops were hurt by the attack, which occurred on Tuesday, though some had to go through a decontamination process.
The shell landed in the air base in the Mosul district, and tests “came back positive for mustard agent,” Starr said.
One official told CNN that the mustard agent was of “low purity” and another called it “ineffective.”
The U.S. believes it’s ISIS because 1) they are desperate to hold onto Mosul, and 2) ISIS has used that same kind of chemical before against civilians.
Foxnews has more: The shell was categorized by officials as either a rocket or artillery shell. After it landed on the base, just south of Mosul, US troops tested it and received an initial reading for a chemical agent they believe is mustard.
No US troops were hurt or have displayed symptoms of exposure to mustard agent.
One official said the agent had “low purity” and was “poorly weaponized.” A second official called it “ineffective.”
A US defense official said troops had gone out to look at the ordnance after it landed. Based on seeing what they thought was a suspect substance, two field tests were conducted.
The first test was positive and the second was negative, the official said. The substance is now being sent to a lab for further examination.
US troops involved in the incident went through decontamination showers as a precaution. No troops have shown any symptoms of exposure, such as skin blistering. CNN has reported on previous instances where ISIS has fired rounds with mustard agents in Iraq and Syria.
The officials said they “had expected” that ISIS might try use chemical weapons as US and Iraqi forces push towards Mosul in an effort to take the city back from ISIS. Several hundred US troops are using the base as a staging area for supporting Iraqi forces.
What is a mustard agent?
Mustard agents are usually classified as “blistering agents” owing to the similarity of the wounds caused by these substances resembling burns and blisters. However, since mustard agents also cause severe damage to the eyes, respiratory system and internal organs, they should preferably be described as “blistering and tissue-injuring agents”. Normal mustard agent, bis-(2-chloroethyl)sulphide, reacts with a large number of biological molecules. The effect of mustard agent is delayed and the first symptoms do not occur until 2-24 hours after exposure.
Mustard agent was produced for the first time in 1822 but its harmful effects were not discovered until 1860. Mustard agent was first used as a CW agent during the latter part of the First World War and caused lung and eye injuries to a very large number of soldiers. Many of them still suffered pain 30-40 years after they had been exposed, mainly as a result of injuries to the eyes and chronic respiratory disorders.
During the war between Iran and Iraq in 1979-88, Iraq used large quantities of chemical agents. About 5 000 Iranian soldiers have been reported killed, 10-20 per cent by mustard agent. In addition, there were 40 000 to 50 000 injured. A typical result of warfare with mustard agent is that the medical system is overloaded with numerous victims who require long and demanding care.