Iraq: The Obscenity of Chemical Weapons

Fatima Samir, aged 3, died yesterday after a chemical attack by Daseh on the town of Taza, south of Kirkuk, (AFP Photo/Marwan Ibrahim)

Fatima Samir, aged 3, died yesterday after a chemical attack by Daseh on the town of Taza, south of Kirkuk, (AFP Photo/Marwan Ibrahim)

By Muhamed Hassan –  Immersed Thinking:

With the firing of mortars containing a chemical agent at the Iraqi town of Taza, south of the city of Kirkuk, and the death of a 3-year-old girl from the exposure, Daesh is undoubtedly escalating the war a few notches.

The little girl died of respiratory complications and kidney failure, and dozens of people were hospitalized suffering burns and suffocation following the chlorine gas attack.

The news has already been met with condemnation by politicians, and has sown fear among innocent people in the area. The chemicals or agents used are being analysed but it would not be hard to pinpoint the fact that Daesh will be resorting to extreme measures to offset the loss of ground and morale after the recent modest gains by the central government and its allies.

The question that follows is how far is Daesh willing to use its chemical arsenal in the future, and under what circumstances? Such developments would undoubtedly be suicidal because it would galvanise the international community against Daesh,  with even more force and resolve to defeat it.

In fact, it could be the final blow for the terrorist organisation because the use of chemical weapons is one of the reddest lines that would most certainly backfire.

Turkey has condemned the Daesh chemical attack on the Turkmen town, Tuz Khurmatu, a sign of further deterioration of the love-hate relationship between the two sides.

Another incident along those lines would further hamper the flow of fighters through the Turkish borders, which is slowly disadvantaging Daesh.

Both the Baghdad and Erbil governments could take advantage of the chemical assault on the diplomatic front and win further support among Arab and non Arab conservatives still lagging behind in the focus on fighting terrorism.

But Daesh has been used in the past as a carte blanche to wreak havoc where it suits by some regional and international powers and it remains to be seen how heavy-handed the reaction of those powers would come to.

The militants have shown that the sky is their limit, so how would the world react in such circumstances?

Poisoned gas has been described as “the most feared, the most obscene weapon of all.”

And before the war with Daesh gets even more obscene, and before we lose tens of thousands of people from exposure to chemical weapons, a swift reaction is both compelling and telling.

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