US confirms IS used chemical rocket in attack on troops in Iraq

A rocket launched by Islamic State militants at American troops based in Iraq did contain a mustard agent, the US military has confirmed.

No-one was hurt in Tuesday’s attack on the Qayyarah air base near the IS stronghold of Mosul.

Marine Gen Joseph Dunford, chairman of US joint chiefs of staff, said the group’s capability to deliver chemical weapons was rudimentary.

But the attack, he added, was a “concerning development”.

IS has long been suspected of making and using crude chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria, where it also controls territory.

Gen Dunford told the US Senate armed services committee on Thursday that the rocket had contained a “sulphur-mustard blister agent”.

Mustard agent in sufficient quantities can maim or kill by damaging skin, eyes and airways.

Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, has been under IS control for the past two years and the battle to retake it is expected to begin in the coming weeks.

US troops are providing assistance to local forces as they prepare for the offensive.

 

Where the War on Terror Lives Forever — Foreign Policy

Uzbekistan’s dictator is dead, but his brutal efforts to crush Islamist extremism leave a long and ugly legacy. And Washington will be left cleaning up the mess.

via Where the War on Terror Lives Forever — Foreign Policy

Islamic State claims Aden bombing — MEMENEWS.ME

GET THE FULL STORY photo: By Jialiang Gao http://www.peace-on-earth.org – Original Photograph, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1426700

via Islamic State claims Aden bombing — MEMENEWS.ME

Philippines: IS-linked Maute group inmates freed in ‘raid’

Source: BBC

Eight Islamic militants linked to so-called Islamic State (IS) have been freed from jail in the Philippines in an apparently “staged raid”.

Police said at least 20 fighters from the Maute group had turned up at the Lanao del Sur jail in the southern city of Marawi, but no shots had been fired.

A military source told the BBC they believed the men had been allowed to escape.

The militants were held last week after being caught with homemade mortars.

At least 15 other inmates – who faced murder and drugs charges – also walked free, but it is not clear whether this was agreed.

The Maute group has carried out several bombings and kidnappings in the southern Mindanao region.

The Philippines has faced separatist movements for decades in Mindanao, which is majority Muslim – the rest of the Philippines is mainly Catholic.

The Maute group carries the black flag and insignia of IS, and has attacked army troops, beheaded a soldier and beheaded two local workers earlier this year.

The militants kidnapped the two workers and made them wear orange shirts similar to those worn by IS beheading victims before they were killed.

Several armed groups in the Philippines have pledged allegiance to IS, although the country’s military says there is no evidence of active co-operation with foreign militants.

Explosion at Belgian Sports Center Kills One, Reports Say — TIME

(BRUSSELS) — A Belgian newspaper is reporting that an explosion has rocked a sports center in the Belgian town of Chimay, with reports of at least one person dead and two injured. Het Laatse Niews quoted a rescue services spokesman as saying early Friday that the blast happened just after midnight and that several people…

via Explosion at Belgian Sports Center Kills One, Reports Say — TIME

Dutch Heighten Security at Amsterdam Airport, Citing Threat ‘Indications’

Dutch police conducted security searches around Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport on Saturday in response to “indications” of a threat, an official said, causing traffic jams during the busy summer holiday season. The National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism and Security Policy (NCTV) provided no details of the possible threat, but it said extra security measures were implemented, including…

via Dutch Heighten Security at Amsterdam Airport, Citing Threat ‘Indications’ — Fortune

61 Killed in ISIS Attack on Afghan Protest — TIME

(KABUL, Afghanistan) — At least 61 people were killed and another 207 wounded in the Afghan capital on Saturday, when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-packed clothing among a large crowd of demonstrators, officials and witnesses said. In a statement issued by its news agency, Aamaq, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack…

via 61 Killed in ISIS Attack on Afghan Protest — TIME