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Iraq informs UN of losing control of chemical weapons facility

July 9, 2014 at 11:26 am

The Iraqi government has officially informed the UN that it has lost control of a former chemical weapons facility, north of the capital Baghdad, to elements in the organisation of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS, Anadolu news agency reported.

In a letter sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Iraq’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Muhammad Ali Hakim said that his government had lost control of the Muthanna facility north of Baghdad on 11 June, and that ISIS militants now have the chemical substances stored at the facility in their possession.

Hakim pointed out in his letter that the Iraqi government could no longer meet its international obligations to destroy the toxic substances, because of the poor security situation in the region.

Reports indicate that the chemical installations remaining from the era of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein have toxic chemicals or remnants of them.

ISIS, which poses a serious threat to the government of Iraq after seizing Mosul and its surroundings, announced the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate on 29 June in the territories it controls in Iraq and Syria.