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ICC Note: Kurdish officials noted that ISIS fired rockets with “poisonous” substances into a village in northern Iraq when civilians began suffering skin irritations, rashes, and continual choking and coughing.  Although officials don’t have details of the substances used, it raises more questions of ISIS chemical weapon stockpiles and the extent of the materials they have acquired.  Northern Iraq (specifically the Kurdistan region) has been a “safer” zone for Internally Displaced Peoples in Iraq that had to flee their homes when ISIS took over. It has also become a temporary home for Syrian refugees.  Northern Iraq likely holds the majority of Iraq’s remaining 250,000 Christians who have completely fled Mosul and other cities under ISIS control. 

3/10/2016 Iraq (Reuters) – More than 40 people suffered partial choking and skin irritation in northern Iraq when Islamic State fired mortar shells and Katyusha rockets filled with “poisonous substances” into their village late on Tuesday, local officials said.

None of the casualties died but five of them remain in hospital, said health officials in Taza, a mainly Shi’ite Turkmen village 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the oil city of Kirkuk, in a region under Kurdish control.

“There were poisonous substances in these shells. We don’t know what,” Kirkuk province governor Najmuddin Kareem told reporters on a visit to the village on Wednesday.

A total of 24 shells and rockets were fired into Taza from the nearby Bashir area, said Wasta Rasul, a commander of the Kurdish peshmerga forces in the region.The attack came as CNN reported that U.S. aircraft had begun targeting Islamic State’s chemical weapons sites near Mosul in Iraq, in an initial round of air strikes aimed at diminishing the militant group’s ability to use mustard agent.An Islamic State detainee provided vital information that allowed the U.S. military to conduct the strikes, CNN said.

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