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US questions whether ISIS uses chemical weapons

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that his country is investigating claims that ISIS militants used chemical weapons against Iraqis last month, Anadolu Agency said.

Kerry did not confirm whether the chlorine was used by the ISIS militants, but described the allegations as "extremely serious."

He said chlorine can be considered a chemical weapon if it is mixed with other toxic agents.

"The use of any chemical weapon is an abhorrent act," Kerry told reporters at a State Department news conference with the South Korean foreign minister.

"It is against international law," he said, "and these recent allegations underscore the importance of the work we are currently engaged in." He said the attacks, if true, would not change US strategy in Iraq.

Kerry said it might slightly affect some US tactical decisions, but would not affect strategic ones. "We are promoting the alliance step-by-step so we are able to support the Iraqi army in order to fight ISIS by themselves," he said.

Meanwhile, the American forces and its allies carried out 18 aerial attacks around the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani on Thursday. The attacks targeted ISIS sites and their vehicles.

The alliance targeted several sites for ISIS, including the city of Mosul, the area around the Baji oil refinery in the south of Iraq, and the area around Fallujah.

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Asia & AmericasIraqMiddle EastNewsSyriaUS
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