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Report: Islamic State used chemical weapons at least 52 times in Iraq, Syria

[JURIST] The Islamic State (IS) has used chemical weapons more than 52 times in Syria and Iraq since 2014, according to a report released [IHS press release] Tuesday by London-based analytical group IHS Markit [advocacy website]. More than 19 of these attacks were in the area of Mosul. The group's Conflict Monitor [advocacy website] monitors security threats, tracks regional conflict events and anticipates security risks. They have assessed that the most likely chemical weapon threat in Mosul is the use of chlorine and mustard agents, as well as a relatively small use of radiological dispersal devices, or dirty bombs. There had been a decline in chemical weapons attacks before the Iraqi offensive to recapture IS-held Mosul, which now indicates IS may be shifting its chemical weapons-making capabilities to Iraq from Syria.

This conflict has been raging in Iraq for years, with many individuals being subjected to the rule of IS. Earlier this month UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called for immediate action [JURIST report] for the victims of Islamic State (IS) to ensure their rights are upheld in Iraq. In October Amnesty International accused Iraqi government forces of human right abuses [JURIST report], citing them as possible revenge killings. In September it was shown that two-thirds of those injured or killed were civilians [JURIST report]. In August IS was accused of committing genocide [JURIST report] in Northern Iraq.

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