Turkey Slams Daesh Chemical Attack On Iraqi Turkmen Town

Photo: Anadolu Agency
Photo: Anadolu Agency

Ankara,  3 Jumadil Akhir 1437/12 March 2016 (MINA) –  Turkish authorities have strongly condemned Wednesday’s chlorine gas attack in Iraq’s Turkmen-populated town of Tazehurmatu 

The attack by the terrorist Daesh group killed a two-year-old girl and severely wounded scores others.

In a written statement late on Friday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry expressed serious concerns over the reports on the use of chemical weapons, Anadolu Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

The weapons’ use was confirmed by Tazehurmatu police chief Salah Abbas who said the town was attacked with more than 40 mortar and Katyusha shells which included chemical agents. 

“We reiterate our harsh condemnation for the inhumane methods used by the Daesh terrorist organization,” read the ministry statement.

Noting its close contact with Iraqi Turkmen officials in the region regarding the incident, Ankara said that Turkmen officials had submitted their findings to the UN mission in Iraq.

“We are ready as always to provide the required support to our Turkmen brothers in healthcare and humanitarian aid,” the statement added.

Two-year-old Fatma Samir died at an Iraqi hospital on Friday after suffering serious injuries to her respiratory system.

Her father told Anadolu Agency that he held Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi responsible for the death of children like his daughter in Daesh attacks.

“Since terrorist Daesh emerged, our town has come under mortar and missile shelling for nearly two years. It is not a new incident,” he added.

The village of Bashiri, five kilometers [3 miles] from Tazehurmatu , has been under the terrorist group’s control since 2014 when it overran Mosul. 

Activists said at least 30 of the town’s 300 residents suffered severe burns and suffocation following the chlorine gas attack.

According to Tazehurmatu  Police Chief Abbas, five townspeople were rendered unconscious due to the gas.

Iraqi PM Al-Abadi said on Friday that the use of chemical weapons was a “hostile crime.”

“The use of chemical [weapons] by the terrorist Daesh organization, especially against children and women, during the attack against Tazehurmatu  is a big and hostile crime against humanity,” Abadi said.

“Daesh has used Mosul University to develop the chlorine gas used in Tazehurmatu ,” Iraqi Turkmen Front President Arshad al-Salihi told Anadolu Agency earlier in the day.

Last month, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Daesh used mustard and chlorine gas in an attack on Kurdish peshmerga forces in 2015. (T/P010/R07)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)