Defense officials said Wednesday that a chemical weapons expert for the Islamic State told investigators that the terror group has weaponized mustard gas into powder form and had planned to use the lethal substance against opponents in Iraq and Syria.
The chemical weapons expert — described by Pentagon officials as a “significant” operative within the Islamic State, also known as ISIS — was captured last month by U.S. special forces and has been providing interrogators with details regarding the group’s plans to use banned substances as it strives to establish a caliphate in the Middle East, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.
As a result of information provided by the detainee, the U.S. military has reportedly conducted at least two airstrikes aimed at facilities believed to be components of the terror group’s chemical weapons program, several sources said.
The Pentagon acknowledged on Saturday that the U.S.-led, anti-ISIS coalition had launched attacks on an ISIS “weapons production facility” near Mosul, and on Monday said an ISIS “tactical unit” has been hit as well. The Daily Beast on Wednesday said both strikes were conducted based off of information provided by the detained ISIS operative.