The Daily Beast reports: The Iraqi man being held and interrogated by U.S. officials is a suspected mid-level Islamic State operative whose knowledge of the group’s chemical weapons program allowed coalition strikes to destroy at least two related facilities, two defense officials said.
The man has been detained for roughly a month, according to the officials. And in that time, they said, he has given the U.S. the most in-depth understanding of ISIS’s chemical attack capabilities and aspirations.
“They have gotten a lot of information from this guy,” a third defense official explained. “A lot.”
It was based on his information that the coalition conducted at least two strikes this week in Iraq, which targeted ISIS’s chemical program, according to one defense official.
According to a March 5 press release from Operation Inherent Resolve, the American-led coalition struck “an [ISIS] weapons production facility” near Mosul, which was suspected to be part of ISIS’s chemical weapons program. And in a March 7 press statement, the coalition said it struck an ISIS “tactical unit” near Mosul, which also was believed to be related to the program. [Continue reading…]