The U.S. struck locations thought to be crucial for the Islamic State's chemical weapons program using information provided by a captured senior Islamic State official.
WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – The U.S. has conducted airstrikes that targeted locations thought to be crucial for the Islamic State’s chemical weapons program using information provided by a captured senior Islamic State official, CNN reported Wednesday.
Citing unnamed officials, CNN reported that the IS operative was captured in Iraq three weeks back when U.S. Special Operations forces, known as the Expeditionary Targeting Force (ETF), began operating in Northern Iraq.
The Pentagon would not confirm the capture of the individual on Wednesday, nor the targeting of IS chemical weapons facilitates.
However, Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis, said the U.S. is aware the IS has “used chemical weapons on multiple occasions in both Iraq and Syria.” Davis said IS tends to use sulfur mustard. This agent is a powder loaded, which is often loaded into artillery shells and rockets, and when the blown up “creates a dust cloud that primarily aggravates but in large doses can absolutely kill.”
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said last month that the Pentagon was watching IS’s chemical weapons capability “very closely.”
“I’m just telling you it’s something we watch very closely and it’s something we take action against,” Carter said on PBS’s “Charlie Rose.”
As the Obama administration attempts to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention center, the Defense Department has said that any operative captured on the battlefield would be held for a short amount of time, through any potential follow up operations, and then passed off to the local, official government for holding.
“What’s fundamentally different now in Iraq and Afghanistan for instance than years ago, when we were first getting detainees, is that we have functional governments there that we work with, we cooperate with and that we can can hand over to those local, sovereign governments,” Davis said Wednesday. “So, there is absolutely no intention of holding anybody long term. Our goal with ETF any time they come across a detainee is to get the information that they need from them, to conduct follow on operations to save lives, and then on a case-by-case basis determine how we’re going to dispose of them.”
The ETF is comprised of near 200 individuals.
Announcing the planned deployment in December before the House Armed Services Committee, Secretary Carter said, “These special operators will over time be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIL leaders.”