Ahmad Rasool, 21, was drinking tea with 20 other Kurdish soldiers when Islamic State mortars began to hit. The Kurds were used to such attacks after battling the militants for more than a year, but this one was different: On impact, clouds of what turned out to be mustard gas filled the air.
"Suddenly, I had to really scratch my back,” Rasool told USA TODAY about the attack in August 2015. “Red spots then started to appear on my skin like boils. ... I saw that some of the other soldiers, their skin and hands were swelling up.”
Rasool’s position was hit by what has been confirmed to be the first chemical weapon attack on Iraqi soil since dictator Saddam Hussein unleashed chemical weapons against Kurds in 1988. Other Kurdish positions around Kirkuk and Gwer also were hit last summer.
Chemical attacks by the extremist group are becoming more frequent in Iraq, causing panic and disarray among soldiers and civilians alike, according to the Kurdish fighters, known as peshmerga.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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