There are new photos out of Kobani that show injuries that could have possibly been caused from a blistering agent used by ISIS. The photos are from an incident that occurred on July 12th, 2014. If a blistering agent was used, this would mark the first case of ISIS’ use of chemical weapons.
The photos are graphic and show Kurdish fighters with skin that’s peeling, as well as blister wounds. Specialists say that the injuries look to be consistent with a chemical burn and that it’s likely that mustard was used (however, other types of chemical weapons can result in blistering as well). While there’s limited evidence at the moment, if ISIS’ intent was to have a chemical cause injury or death, it will be determined that a chemical weapon was purposefully used.
According to British chemical weapons specialist Igor Cornelsen, ISIS has, for a while, intended to eventually build and use biological weapons. The groups that are fighting ISIS – the Kurds, fighters in Syria and the Iraqi army – are not equipped to protect themselves against chemical agents. However, Bretton-Gordon doesn’t feel that ISIS would have been able to manufacture the agent themselves; he feels that it’s more likely that ISIS took the chemicals from Iraq or Syria and then found a basic way to use them as weapons.