Air Force Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, the three-star general in charge of US air operations in the Middle East, told reporters at the Pentagon that American warplanes eliminated a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant near the northern city of Mosul which Islamic State militants had used for chemical weapons production.
The building was an Islamic State headquarters used to produce lethal chemicals, possibly including chlorine and mustard gas. He said the goal was to remove a “significant chemical threat” to Iraqi civilians.
Harrigian described the airstrike as a large, well-planned operation that included Air Force B-52 bombers and Marine Corps F-18D attack planes.
It is part of a broader effort to cut off the Islamic State’s main sources of revenue, kill their leaders and create “organizational dysfunction” to eliminate the group as a military threat in Iraq and Syria.