U.S. informed by ISIS detainee about use of chemical weapons leads to airstrikes on targets

According to CNN, an Islamic State specialist involved in chemical weapons has provided U.S. military interrogators with information resulting in airstrikes against targets that are believed to be essential to ISIS’s chemical weapons agenda, said U.S. officials on Wednesday.

Officials have identified the Iraqi man as Sleiman Daoud al-Afari.  The operative was captured three weeks ago in northern Iraq during a U.S. specials operations raid. Various officials have claimed the prisoner to be a “significant operative” in ISIS’s chemical weapons strategy.  One official linked Mr. Afari to Saddam Hussein’s Military Industrialized Authority.

Capturing Mr. Afari has given the U.S. military the chance to learn more about the Islamic State’s chemical weapons program, specifically where the chemical agents are being manufactured and kept.  After being interrogated, Mr. Afari revealed how ISIS  weaponized sulfur mustard  and loaded it into artillery shells, according to officials.  If the information provided by Mr. Afari was correct, officials say one of the U.S. airstrikes hit a weapons production plant in Mosul, Iraq, and the other attack against a “tactical unit” near Mosul.

Pentagon spokesman, Capt. Jeff Davis, said on Wednesday, the sulfur mustard agent utilized by the Islamic State can “certainly kill.”  Numerous people have been exposed to the gas in northern Iraq, causing respiratory and skin damage.  Local officials claimed it to be a chemical attack.

Pentagon officials have vowed that the United States will not detain Mr. Afari or any other prisoners for a long amount of time, and say that they will be released over to Iraqi and Kurdish authorities after being questioned, according to The New York Times.

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