MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On March 3, media reported that chemical weapons had been used during a fight between the Daesh terror group and Iraqi troops in East Mosul. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), 12 patients were referred to hospital showing symptoms consistent with exposure to a toxic chemical agent. The number has since risen to 15.
"The Russian Federation fully shares the deep concern of the OPCW and the UN over the use of chemical weapons in Iraq's Mosul," Zakharova said.
The spokeswoman added that Moscow had been monitoring the situation starting from March 2013, when one of the first incidents involving sarin use against the Syrian government troops and against the civilian population was recorded.
The operation to retake Mosul began on October 17, 2016 and resulted in the liberation of its eastern part this January, but fighting continues in the city's western areas. The operation to liberate it started on February 19.
Daesh is outlawed in the United States, Russia and numerous other countries.
On Thursday, the Iraqi ambassador to Russia said that chemical weapons use could be "on a very narrow scale" but clarified that "Daesh has no chemical weapons, as far as the Iraqi government knows."