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ISIS CHEMICAL EXPERT SEIZED BY U.S

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unonimus1U.S. special forces captured the head of the Islamic State ’s unit trying to develop chemical weapons in a raid last month (02/2016) in northern Iraq near the town of of Tal Afar , close to the Syrian border, two senior Iraqi intelligence officials , on Wednesday 03/09/2016, told the Associated Press, the first known major success of Washington’s more aggressive policy of pursuing the jihadis on the ground by deploying a commando force to Iraq that it said would be dedicated to capturing and killing IS leaders in clandestine operations, as well as generating intelligence leading to more raids.

Indeed USA officials said last week that the expeditionary team had captured an Islamic State leader but had refused to identify him, saying only that he had been held for two or three weeks and was being questioned.

The two Iraqi officials identified the chemical expert  as Sleiman Daoud al-Afari, 50, who worked for Saddam Hussein’s regime where he specialized in chemical and biological weapons.

Beyond intelligence value, the capture could strike a blow to what Iraqi and American officials have described as a determined effort by the Islamic State group to develop chemical weapons.

The group is believed to have created limited stocks of mustard gas and it has ambitions to develop more dangerous agents like nerve gas.

Tests confirmed mustard gas was used in a town in Syria when IS was launching attacks there in 08/2015. Other unverified reports in both Iraq and Syria accuse IS of using chemical agents on the battlefield.  

** The seizure of Sleiman Daoud al-Afari already led to a number of USA successful airstrikes on ISIS facilities in Northern Iraq .


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