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National Security & Defense

ISIS Is Using Mustard Gas. Does U.S. Network News Care?

From the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt:

Hey, Is Anybody Paying Attention to ISIS Attacking U.S. Troops with Mustard Gas?

A few weeks ago, I wrote that it’s a sad fact that almost no one cares about chemical weapons attacks in Syria — or anywhere else, really.

Not even when it’s aimed at our troops, apparently:

ISIS is suspected of firing a shell with mustard agent that landed at the Qayyara air base in Iraq Tuesday where US and Iraqi troops are operating, according to several US officials.

The shell was categorized by officials as either a rocket or artillery shell. After it landed on the base, just south of Mosul, US troops tested it and received an initial reading for a chemical agent they believe is mustard.

No US troops were hurt or have displayed symptoms of exposure to mustard agent.

One official said the agent had “low purity” and was “poorly weaponized.” A second official called it “ineffective.”

Newsbusters notices that none of the network evening-news broadcasts mentioned the mustard-gas attack.

You have to go over to the U.K. Daily Telegraph to get a sense of ISIS’s chemical-weapons capabilities and the worst-case scenario:

While it is the first chemical attack against US troops, there have been 20 documented cases of chemical weapons being used against the Kurdish Peshmerga army, which has been moving in on the city from the east for the last few months.

Hamish de Bretton Gordon, former commanding officer of the UK Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment (CBRN), who has been advising and training the Peshmerga in Kurdistan, said troops should be prepared for bigger and more lethal chemical attacks.

He told the Telegraph that Peshmerga commanders have intelligence that Isil has rigged with explosives a chemical plant 25 miles south of Mosul and six miles north of Qayyarah.

An explosion at Misraq, which holds thousands of tonnes sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide, could be catastrophic. 

Mr de Bretton Gordon’s downwind predictions of six-10 miles would mean Iraqi, and any supporting US, forces would be at risk. 

ISIS controls a chemical plant that produces sulfur? Does this not seem alarming to anyone?

My super-secret spying techniques (don’t tell anyone it’s Google searching) found this picture of the Misraq State Sulfur Company facility, upgraded in 2015:

Monday we were lucky from the terrorists stateside; flying shrapnel not killing anyone, bombs not going off, bombs found by homeless men. This week we’re almost as lucky with the terrorists overseas.

The problem is that luck is not a strategy, and sooner or later, luck changes.

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