Three-year-old Iraqi girl dies after IS chemical attack

Three-year-old Iraqi girl dies after IS chemical attack
Doctors have been unable to rescue toddler Fatima Samir who was among dozens of people hospitalised after a IS chemical attack near Kirkuk in Iraq this week.
2 min read
11 March, 2016

A three-year-old Iraqi girl wounded in a chemical attack by the Islamic State group has died in hospital on Friday.

"She died of respiratory complications and kidney failure... caused by the mustard agent used by Daesh (IS) in Taza," said Masrour Aswad, of the Iraqi Commission for Human Rights.

Fatima Samir was among the dozens of people hospitalised after a chemical attack carried out Wednesday on the town of Taza, just south of the city of Kirkuk.

Burhan Abdallah, the head of Kirkuk health directorate, said four people in serious condition were transferred to Baghdad.

Aswad said the rockets fired on Taza from the nearby IS-held town of Bashir contained a mustard agent. Other security officials said chlorine may have been used.

Intelligence officials have collected samples that are still being analysed.

IS has used both chemical agents in the past, a tactic which has caused few casualties and whose impact so far has been more psychological than military.

Abu Ridha al-Najjar, a leader in the Turkmen branch of the Popular Mobilisation Forces which is made up mostly of Shia militias, said the attack had sown fear among civilians in northern Iraq.

"International NGOs should come to the region to see the effects of such shelling and its consequences on the civilian population, including after the attack," he said.

The Pentagon announced on Thursday that the US-led coalition against IS had carried out airstrikes against the group's chemical weapons sites.

It said the targets were identified following the capture in Iraq last month of a man presented as the group's top chemical expert.