U.S. finds chemical agents from ISIS arms

A crew member of the Danish warship Esbern Snare enters a decontamination shower wearing a gas mask during drills at sea between Cyprus and Syria, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. (AP)

Fragments from mortars used by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to attack Kurdish forces had traces of chemical arms agents, a field test conducted by the U.S. military showed.

Marine Corps Brigadier General Kevin Killea, chief of staff for operations against ISIS, said the field test was not conclusive proof of chemical weapons use, and the fragments are currently undergoing more definitive testing to confirm the finding.

U.S. officials have been looking into reports that ISIS militants used the chemical weapon mustard gas in the August 11 attack in Makhmour. Similar reports surfaced in July.

Killea told Pentagon reporters on Friday that Kurdish forces brought the mortar fragments to U.S. forces for testing, so there may be questions about the chain of custody of the evidence.
 

[With Reuters and AP]

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