Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council.

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Ban agreed to take on the subject after the two spoke on the phone on Thursday night, Foreign Ministry sources told news agency dpa.

Eyewitnesses have reported that gas was used against the inhabitants of Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish border, which has been under siege by the Islamic extremists for weeks.

Many people in the city are suffering from breathing problems and other symptoms of poison gas.

The Washington Post reported that 11 Iraqi policemen involved in a battle with Isis fighters in September were also brought to hospital in the capital Baghdad with similar symptoms and were diagnosed with chlorine gas poisoning.

And the New York Times reported that left-overs from former dictator Saddam Hussein's chemical weapons programme could have fallen into Isis' hands when it captured the Muthanna chemical weapon plant northwest of Baghdad.

Iraqi government officials claimed in June that all weapons stored at the plant were destroyed.

Germany stepped up its efforts to combat Isis in September and October, sending weapons and six soldiers to train Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq.

On Thursday Steinmeier confirmed to journalists that the government was considering sending more troops to train the Kurds as part of an EU mission.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that the mission might consist of between 200 and 300 men, with 100 of them sent by Germany.

A fact-finding team has also been sent to northern Iraq to examine the conditions for a training deployment by European armies.

SEE ALSO: 'German' hand grenades paraded by Isis

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