The DAESH terrorist group launched shells and Katyusha rockets with "poisonous substances" in a village in northern Iraq on Tuesday, which has caused partial choking and skin irritations on more than 40 people, local officials said.
None of the victims died, health officials in Taza said, a mainly Shiite Turkmen village 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of the oil city of Kirkuk, in a region under Kurdish control.
"There were poisonous substances in these shells. We don't know what," Kirkuk province governor Najmuddin Kareem told reporters on a visit to the village on Wednesday.
The attack came as a US media outlet reported a US aircraft had begun targeting DAESH’s chemical weapon sites near Mosul in Iraq.
"DAESH attacked Tuz Khurmatu last night from the [nearby] village of Bashiri it seized. More than 40 mortar shells fell on the region over a short period,” said Salah Abbas, the police chief of Tuz Khurmatu.
Abbas said that following the attack, town residents were gravely concerned and scared due to the chemical weapons.
“DAESH wants to scare off the population," said Kirkuk Province Governor Najmuddin Kareem.
"They want to show they have chemical weapons just like the previous regime," he said, referring to the chemical bombing of the Kurdish village of Halabja by Saddam Hussein's forces in 1988, which left thousands of people dead.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Turkmen Front President Arshad al-Salihi told Anadolu Agency that DAESH used Mosul University to "develop the chlorine gas used in Tuz Khurmatu.”
“If we cannot expel DAESH from Bashir and Tuz Khurmatu, the terror could spill to Kirkuk,” he warned.
The village of Bashir, 5 kilometres from Tuz Khurmatu, has been under the terrorist group’s control since 2014 when it overran Mosul.
Last month, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said DAESH used mustard and chlorine gas in an attack on Kurdish forces in 2015.