US Official Warns of ISIS 'Chemical Weapons Cell'
'This is not something we want to see them get good at'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2017 6:34 PM CDT
This image posted online in 2015 by the Aamaq News Agency, a media arm of the Islamic State, purports to shows ISIS fighters during a battle in Syria.   (Aamaq News Agency, via AP)

(Newser) – A US official warns ISIS could be getting all its chemical weapons experts together in a "chemical weapons cell" in a last-ditch effort to defend its remaining territory in Syria. CNN reports the unnamed official says the experts are from Iraq and Syria and haven't previously worked together. "We know ISIS is willing to use chemical weapons. This is not something we want to see them get good at," says Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesperson for the US-led military coalition in Syria.

The unnamed official says the chemical weapons cell is convening in an area of ISIS-controlled Syria that the US military is getting more interested in. The official says the area in the Euphrates River Valley could now be the "de facto" ISIS capital as military pressure increases on Raqqa. Syrian forces are said to be tightening "their noose" on that ISIS stronghold, according to Reuters.

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