Toxic fumes released when extremists torched a sulfur plant near Mosul earlier this week have killed two Iraqi civilians and forced U.S. troops at a nearby base to wear masks.
“ISIS blew up the sulfur plant two days ago and that has led to the deaths of two people among the civilians in nearby villages,” Iraqi General Qusay Hamid Kadhem told AFP, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.
The senior officer of the interior ministry’s elite rapid response force said “many others were injured as a result of the toxic smoke.”
According to several security and health sources in the area, where tens of thousands of Iraqi forces are involved in a massive offensive to wrest Mosul back from ISIS, the group torched at least part of the Mishraq sulfur factory Wednesday.
The blast released toxic fumes that were seen and felt by residents in the area and, early Saturday, by forces and reporters around Qayyarah, one of the main staging bases of the anti-ISIS operation south of Mosul.