Iraq to UN: Terrorists took over former chemical weapons site

The Islamic State has gained control of a former chemical weapons facility in Iraq, Iraq’s envoy told the United Nations in a letter made public on Tuesday. 

“Armed terrorist groups” took over the Muthanna facility on June 11, Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the letter dated June 30.

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Alhakim said Iraq’s government can’t fulfill its obligation now to destroy toxins kept at the facility, located north of Baghdad.

"The Government of Iraq requests the States Members of the United Nations to understand the current inability of Iraq, owing to the deterioration of the security situation, to fulfill its obligations to destroy chemical weapons," he wrote, according to Reuters.

Iraqi officials noticed through a camera surveillance system that project equipment at the site and appliances had been looted, he said, adding that the terrorists then disabled the surveillance system.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in June that the U.S. believes "whatever material was kept there is pretty old and not likely to be able to be accessed or used against anyone right now."

"We aren't viewing this particular site and their holding it as a major issue at this point," Kirby said. "Should they even be able to access the materials, frankly, it would likely be more of a threat to them than anyone else."