By: Rita L.
Recently in Mosul, Iraq there was a chemical attack resulting in the injuries of twelve residents. The victims, five children, three women, and four men were experiencing symptoms from exposure to the chemicals including blisters, coughing, redness of the eyes, irritation, and vomiting.
A worker for the International Committee of the Red Cross, Mardini says, “The use of chemical weapons is absolutely prohibited under international humanitarian law.” This ruthless use of chemicals towards innocent people alarmed and infuriated many people and many want to continue the support of prohibiting the use of chemicals.
CNN interviewed two residents of east Mosul and they reported smelling “something strange” which was followed by mortar attacks said to be coming from the Tigris River from western Mosul. The chemical was believed to be mustard gas, a chemical already restricted of use ever since World War I.
The World Health Organization responded to this attack by activating a plan to prevent others in the area from being exposed to this chemical. On Friday more than 46,000 inhabitants have fled the area to prevent exposure. Many residents barely had any time to gather their possessions before escaping the area. The Iraqi government set up refugee camps for those who escaped, which by Saturday was estimated to be over 50,000. "All we've had for the last month is bread and water", said a Mosul resident named Ahmed. The conditions at the refugee camps are not ideal and with the accumulation of people, the trouble of food and shelter has become a problem. "We left when mortar rounds started hitting around our house. We couldn't stay any longer", said his wife, Mariam. Another reason for the fleeing from their homes was because of the fatal mortar attacks that were destroying homes and injuring many people. "We are only 13 days in and the numbers have exceeded our expectations," Sabah said.
A number of escapees are already out of control; the Iraqi government needs to formulate a plan to regulate the influx of people continuing to come to the refugee camps. This use of illegal chemicals as warfare has created my problems in Iraq.