ISIS Has Fired Chemical Mortar Shells, Evidence Indicates; By C. J. CHIVERS -The New York TimesQuicklink submitted By Susan Lee Schwartz Permalink
The development, which the investigators said involved toxic industrial or agricultural chemicals repurposed as weapons, signaled a potential escalation of the group’s capabilities, though it was not entirely without precedent.
Firing chemical mortar shells across distances, however, as opposed to dispersing toxic chemicals via truck bombs or stationary devices, would be a new tactic for the group, and would require its munitions makers to overcome a significantly more difficult technical challenge.
Chemical weapons, internationally condemned and banned in most of the world, are often less lethal than conventional munitions, including when used in improvised fashion. But they are indiscriminate by nature and difficult to defend against without specialized equipment — traits that lend them potent psychological and political effects.
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