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Iraqi forces discover chemical warfare agent in Mosul

Iraqi forces have discovered a chemical warfare agent in Mosul alongside a cache of Russian surface-to-surface missiles.

Brig Gen Haider Fadhil said French officials tested the chemical agent this week and confirmed it was sulphur mustard, more commonly known as mustard gas.

The discovery took place days after the Iraqi army celebrated victory over Islamic State (IS) in the eastern half of Mosul and began to push into villages north of the city.

Iraqi forces showed journalists a tank of the chemical agent and a warehouse of more than a dozen surface-to-surface rockets bearing Russian inscriptions in eastern Mosul.

Brig Gen Fadhil said the types of rockets found led him to suspect IS had been experimenting with the rockets to develop a way to weaponise the chemical agent.

Iraqi and US officials have repeatedly warned of IS efforts to develop chemical weapons. The extremist group has launched attacks using low-grade chemical weapons in Iraq, causing a handful of casualties.

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