U.S. Military Identifies ‘Mustard Agent’ As Chemical Used by ISIS Against Iraqi Troops

By Susan Jones | April 27, 2017 | 6:42am EDT
Air Force Col. John Dorrian briefs reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo is a screen grab from DOD video)

(CNSNews.com) – Last week, a U.S. military spokesman said ISIS “used chemicals in the vicinity of Mosul” in an attack on Iraqi Security Forces. U.S. and Australian advisers were nearby and uninjured.

At a news conference on Wednesday, U.S. Air Force Col. John Dorrian, the coalition spokesman, identified the chemical used in the attack:

“Well, coalition forces became aware of a chemical attack. They left the area. They donned their equipment. Where they were tested, none of them showed any negative effects from being in that area,” Dorrian said.

"As far as the types of materials that the enemy used -- they have low-grade capabilities and that is representative of chlorine and mustard agent. Sometimes I see that reported as mustard gas. That's not correct. It's mustard agent.

"So, it dispersed into a very small area, whenever these munitions go off. These munitions are not especially effective about anything except creating a public narrative. So, they’re not as effective even as explosive rounds, but you know, they do get some attention.”

On another topic – ISIS using off-the-shelf or improvised drones to drop grenades on Iraqi troops in Mosul – Dorrian said those drones won’t turn the tide of battle. He also said the Iraqis have now "turned the tables," using drones to “terrorize” the terrorists:

Drones "are not really strategic capabilities. They're not game-changers," Dorrian said. "It's not going to stop what's happening on the battlefield, which is them losing, being pushed out of areas, and getting killed. But it does present a tremendous amount of danger to people on the ground when we see these.

"The enemy has used them, sometimes where multiple drones have been used at one time. Of course, that is a capability that, you know, certainly will get attention and require the Iraqi security forces to take measures to put a stop to that.

"Most recently, though, we've been able to provide some capabilities on the battlefield to disrupt that. So that's electronic warfare capabilities."

 Dorrian refused to give details about how that works, "but we can move capabilities where they need to be in order to stop the enemy from being more effective."

Dorrian said the Iraqi security forces "have turned the tables and begun to use them (drones) as well” to take out snipers and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices that are parked – and to just sort of terrorize them.

“So, that's -- that's kind of the state of play with regard to enemy use of drones, and then the Iraqis' use of drones as well.”

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