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    Toxic Smoke Spread by Daesh in Iraq Causes Anemia, Severe Blood Disorders

    © AFP 2019 / SAFIN HAMED
    Middle East
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    Toxic fumes from a sulfur plant torched by Daesh near Mosul several days ago have had drastic consequences for the health of many Iraqi civilians, German magazine Focus Online wrote, referring to NASA.

    According to NASA reports, the toxic smoke has caused severe respiratory problems in many people in the surrounding area, forcing them to immediately search for medical help.

    ​Sulfur dioxide is produced by the reaction of elemental sulfur with oxygen. When its amount exceeds certain limits, it causes headache, nausea and, at higher concentrations, severe damage to blood vessels of the lungs and anemia.

    ​Media reports say that the wind is rapidly carrying the toxic smoke to other parts of the country as well as toward Turkey.

    Experts believe that the amount of the gas resulting from the fire is comparable with a large volcanic eruption and is very alarming. It could also lead to the pollution of the groundwater thus causing damage to humans and local agriculture for many years to come, the German magazine wrote.

    More than 800 Iraqis have already had to flee from the toxic smoke clouds to remote areas. However, the toxic clouds didn't just affect residents of nearby villages, but also reached US forces at the Qayyarah military base to the south of Mosul and forced troops to wear gas masks for precaution.

    ​Daesh fighters are said to have set the sulfur plant on fire to slow the advance of the anti-Daesh coalition. According to reports of the military, the smoke had a negative impact on scheduled military operations in the area, where Iraqi forces are involved in a crucial offensive to liberate Mosul from Daesh fighters.


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