Evidence that IS used chemical weapons, Iraqi Kurds say
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Evidence that IS used chemical weapons, Iraqi Kurds say

Kurdish government says jihadist group used chlorine gas in January suicide car bombing

In this undated file image posted on June 30, 2014, by the Raqqa Media Center, fighters from the Islamic State group parade in Raqqa, Syria. (photo credit: AP/Raqqa Media Center)
In this undated file image posted on June 30, 2014, by the Raqqa Media Center, fighters from the Islamic State group parade in Raqqa, Syria. (photo credit: AP/Raqqa Media Center)

BAGHDAD — The Kurdish government in Iraq said Saturday it had evidence examined by an independent laboratory confirming that the Islamic State group used chemical weapons against peshmerga fighters.

A statement Saturday from the Kurdistan Region Security Council claimed that the purported chemical weapon attack involved chlorine gas used in a January 23 suicide car bomb attack in northern Iraq.

It said the alleged attack took place on a road between Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, and the Syrian border, as peshmerga forces fought to seize a vital supply line used by the Sunni militants. The Kurds said samples were analyzed by an unnamed lab in an unnamed coalition partner nation, which found chlorine traces.

The Islamic State group has been suspected of using chlorine in previous attacks in Iraq and Syria.

Earlier an activist group and a Kurdish official said Kurdish fighters were making gains against the group in northeastern Syria, amid airstrikes by the US-led coalition.

Nasser Haj Mansour, a defense official in Syria’s Kurdish region, said the fighters captured the Christian village of Tal Maghas in Hassakeh province, which had been under the control of Islamic State militants. Haj Mansour and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the village was taken overnight.

They also said airstrikes by the US-led coalition, the first in the area in days, have targeted IS positions near Tal Tamr village, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) west of Tal Maghas.

Syria’s main Kurdish force, the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, called Friday for the US-led coalition to attack IS in Hassakeh province.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

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