An Iraqi office reported on Saturday the discovery of mustard chemical warfare agents and a cache of Russian missiles. The cache, which likely originated in Syria, reportedly belongs to ISIS, and was found at Nineveh ruins, just two kilometers from the Tigris River.
Iraqi special forces Brigadier General Haider Fadhil said, "We know that they were using this place to experiment with chemical weapons." He also said his soldiers were able to spend up to ten minutes at the site without experiencing any ill effects.
The Nineveh site is believed to have been abandoned only one or two weeks prior to its discovery. Based on the types of rockets found, Iraqi forces believe ISIS was attempting to "dirty" the rockets with chemical weapons.
Experts say the low numbers of casualties from ISIS chemical weapons are due to poor weapon quality and inefficient delivery systems.
According to Sky News reporters who visited the scene, ISIS had planned to launch a chemical or biological weapons attack, but were interrupted by the jihadist forces which drove them out of Mosul. They also said the warehouse had a "strong smell" of chemicals and were warned the whole area was contaminated.
This is not the first time ISIS has been shown to hold chemical weapons. In mid-January, Iraqi forces retook Mosul University from ISIS only to find the campus had been used as a chemical weapons factory.