Islamic State extremists launch chemical attack on Kurdish villages northwest Syria


An Islamic State fighter in Raqqa. File photo

ARA News 

ALEPPO –  Militant fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) have shelled Kurdish villages in Syria’s northern Aleppo Governorate with chemical weapons, activists reported on Saturday.

The radical group has reportedly launched a chemical attack on the villages of Um Hosh and Herbel in Afrin District northwest of Aleppo, causing casualties among civilians.

“ISIS terrorists have used internationally forbidden weapons in an attack on the villages of al-Herbel and Um Hosh,” senior Kurdish official Ilham Ahmed said.

The attack, which took place on Friday morning, led to the injury of five civilians and three member of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who were transferred to the Afrin Hospital.

A medical sources in Afrin told ARA News that the injured suffered from suffocation. 

“The victims have been clearly exposed to a chemical gas attack,” the source said. 

Speaking to ARA News, Rezan Heddo, a member of the Syrian Democratic Council, said: “ISIS and other radical Islamist groups in Aleppo province are in possession of chemical weapons. They have used those weapons in several attacks on populated areas in Aleppo province, especially against the Kurds.”

On Saturday, local activists in Afrin released footages online showing testimonies on the chemical attack. 

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) liberated the villages of Um Hosh and Herbel from ISIS on August 30, with the aim to capture the strategic town of al-Bab to connect the Kurdish canton administrations.

According to a joint investigation by the United Nations and a chemical weapons watchdog, both the Syrian government and ISIS group have used banned chemical weapons.

Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria have been exposed to chemical attacks by ISIS.

US-led coalition officials have earlier confirmed that ISIS has used mustard gas in attacks on Kurdish forces in Iraq.

Reporting by: Siman Jiwan, Wladimir van Wilgenburg and Jan Nasro

Source: ARA News

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