US-led coalition airstrikes continued to hit ISIS targets in northern Iraq in the first half of September, as Iraqi ground forces reportedly prepare to launch operations to retake the terrorist group’s biggest remaining city, Mosul.
On September 12, three strikes hit an ISIS headquarters building that Operation Inherent Resolve officials have said was also used as a chemical-weapons facility.
In those strikes, part of which are shown in the GIF below, “U.S. F-15Es, A-10s, B-52s, F-16s, and Marine Corps F-18Ds destroyed more than 50 points of interest, removing a significant chemical threat to innocent Iraqis,” a US Air Force Central Command official told Business Insider by email.
“Intelligence indicated that Da’esh converted a pharmaceutical plant complex into a chemical weapons production capability, using chlorine or mustard gas,” the US Air Force Central Command official told Business Insider, referring to ISIS by another name.
“This represents another example of Da’esh’s blatant disregard for international law and norms.”
- Reuters/Azad Lashkari
Chemical-weapons facilities in Mosul were targeted by the US-led coalition earlier this year, around the time US special-operations forces captured Sulayman Dawud al-Bakkar, who worked on chemical and biological weapons under Saddam Hussein and became known as ISIS’ “emir” of chemical and traditional weapons manufacturing.
In Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, the highly regarded science facilities of the city’s university were one of the most valuable spoils taken by ISIS when the group captured the city in summer 2014.
By spring 2015, dozens of scientists and engineers working for the terrorist group had set up shop on the university’s labs and workspaces, building chemical bombs and suicide vests, The Wall Street Journal reported in April 2016.
“The University of Mosul is the best Daesh research center in the world,” an Iraqi general told The Journal at the time. “Trainees go to Raqqa, [Syria], then to Mosul university to use the existing facilities.”
See video of the September 12 strike below: