Iraqi forces uncover IS mustard gas stockpiles and rockets
An Iraqi officer has confirmed that pro-government forces have captured a quantity of chemical warfare agents from the Islamic State group in Mosul.
The find came alongside the discovery of a cache of Russian surface-to-surface missiles.
Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil from the Iraqi special forces said tests this week by French experts confirmed the agent was sulfur mustard.
Better known as mustard gas, the chemical was widely used during the First World War and leads to the blistering of exposed skin and, if inhaled, the lungs.
Troops 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.
Fadhil said Baghdad believes that IS is attempting to fit rockets with chemical agents which could then be used against the Iraqi army or civilians.
Iraqi and US officials have repeatedly warned of IS efforts to develop chemical weapons.
Last year, IS were suspected of equipping a rocket fired at a US base in Iraq with a chemical agent, but Washington later said no mustard gas traces were found.
The extremist group have, however, caused a handful of casualties from usually low grade chemical attacks in Iraq and Syria, including the death of a three-year-old Iraqi girl.
Supected gas and chemical attacks by suspected regime forces and IS in neighbouring Syria have been frequent and deadly.
If IS were successful in weaponising rockets, it would put more Iraqi cities within reach of chemical attacks.
Agencies contributed to this story.