The UN World Health Organization (WHO) reported that between 1 and 3 March, twelve patients, including women and children, were treated for possible exposure to chemical weapons in Mosul. According to Iraqi officials, the attack was carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) within the eastern sector of Mosul, which was retaken by the Iraqi Security Forces during January.
This attack took place the day after the UN Security Council failed to adopt a draft resolution that would have held both ISIL and the Syrian government accountable for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Evidence of four previous chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian
government and ISIL was documented by the impartial UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism and reported directly to the UN Security Council. During September and October 2016 ISIL forces also launched at least three chemical attacks on the town of Qayyarah, Iraq.
The use of chemical weapons is a war crime. The UN Security Council, with Iraqi government support, should immediately establish an international investigative mechanism to collect evidence of atrocity crimes perpetrated by ISIL in Iraq.