Mosul battle: Hundreds treated over toxic fumes in Iraq


The US says Islamic State fighters deliberately set the sulphur plant on fire
Hundreds of people in Iraq are being treated for the effects of toxic gases after a sulphur plant was set alight in fighting with so-called Islamic State.

The US military says IS fighters set the plant on fire earlier this week, as they fled an advance by pro-government forces on their Mosul stronghold.

On Saturday, US soldiers at a base near Mosul donned protective masks as wind blew smoke towards them.

Reuters said another 1,000 people were being treated for breathing problems.
An Iraqi commander, Qusay Hamid Kadhem, told AFP news agency two civilians had died from the fumes and "many others" had been injured.

Meanwhile, advancing Iraqi forces entered the town of Qaraqosh, 32km (20 miles) south of Mosul, the IS capital.

Qaraqosh, Iraq's largest Christian town before the war, is said to be largely empty but IS has laid landmines on the approaches to Mosul.

The militants have been attacking with suicide bombers elsewhere, driving vehicles laden with explosives at high speed towards government lines. 

Friday's IS attack on the city of Kirkuk, 170km (105 miles) south-east of Mosul, now appears to be over, leaving at least 35 people dead and 120 wounded, according to medical sources.

Qayyarah, where the plant was set alight, acts as the main US hub for supporting the Iraqi government offensive to drive IS out of their Mosul stronghold.
The fire began two days ago, when IS fighters reportedly set the sulphur plant alight in Mishraq, south of Mosul.
 US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter arrives in Baghdad, 22 October ....... truesnewsblog.com
Mr Carter, who is in Iraq for the third time this year, has overseen a steady increase in US troop numbers there.

More than 4,800 US soldiers are in Iraq and at least 100 US special operations personnel are operating with Iraqi units. 

The offensive against Mosul, which began on Monday, is a two-pronged operation, with Iraqi government forces attacking from the south and Kurdish fighters advancing from the east.

A damaged building in Kirkuk, 22 October.... Truenewsblog.com 
Reports on Tuesday that Qaraqosh had been liberated caused an outpouring of joy among Christians who had fled to Kurdish areas when IS swept into Mosul in June 2014.

But the reports turned out to be premature as snipers impeded the progress of government forces.
In Kirkuk, the governor, Najmiddin Karim, said "all" of the IS attackers had been killed by the security forces.

However, Kurdish forces controlling the city detained a number of suspected IS members on Saturday, according to an AFP photographer who recorded the arrests.
Photos of damaged buildings in the city show the full ferocity of Friday's combat, with facades peppered by gunfire.


Mosul battle: Hundreds treated over toxic fumes in Iraq Mosul battle: Hundreds treated over toxic fumes in Iraq Reviewed by True NewsBlog on Saturday, October 22, 2016 Rating: 5

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