Iraqi Troops Enter Nimrud, Town of Famed Ancient Ruins Near Mosul — TIME

MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — Iraqi troops entered a town south of Mosul on Sunday where Islamic State militants destroyed artefacts at a nearby ancient Assyrian archaeological site, while special forces fended off suicide bombers during a cautious advance into the northern city. The push into Nimrud was the most significant gain in several days for…

via Iraqi Troops Enter Nimrud, Town of Famed Ancient Ruins Near Mosul — TIME

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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.

 

Pentagon Spent Billions Sending Weapons to Iraq, Afghanistan — TIME

The Pentagon has spent billions of dollars since 2001 funneling roughly more than a million assault rifles, pistols, shotguns, and machine guns into Iraq and Afghanistan, helping to fuel lasting conflict there, according to a new report by a London-based nonprofit research and advocacy group Action on Armed Violence. At least 949,582 of these small…

via Pentagon Spent Billions Sending Weapons to Iraq, Afghanistan — TIME