- The Washington Times - Friday, February 12, 2016

CIA Director John O. Brennan has said the the Islamic State terrorist group has used chemical weapons and its fighters have the ability to make small quantities of chlorine and mustard gas.

“We have a number of instances where ISIL has used chemical munitions on the battlefield,” Mr. Brennan told CBS News, which released excerpts of a larger interview set to air on “60 Minutes” on Sunday.

Mr. Brennan said it is possible that the militants are making their own chemical weapons.

“There are reports that ISIS has access to chemical precursors and munitions that they can use,” he told CBS.

He also warned that the terrorists could seek to export the weapons to the West for financial profit and stressed the importance of cutting off their smuggling and transportation routes.

His comments come just two days after James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said in a congressional committee hearing that the Islamic State “used chemicals in Iraq and Syria, including the blister agent sulfur mustard.”

Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and rebel forces have accused each other of using chemical weapons in the five-year civil war that has killed more than 250,000 people.

In 2013, much of the international community blamed Mr. Assad’s government on a sarin attack outside Damascus. Mr. Assad agreed to turn over its chemical arsenal after that attack.

Last year, Kurdish officials said blood tests had shown that Islamic State fighters used mustard gas in an attack on peshmerga forces in August.

The weapons are banned under international law and using chemical agents is considered a war crime.

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