Does this not prove conclusively that the Islamic State is a WMD power? With the technical know-how and resources to construct, deploy, and use in direct or asymmetrical combat at least one, and most likely all three, legs of the chemical/nuclear/biological triad? And, even more to the point, the willingness to do so?:
Islamic State [jihadis]ts attacked Syrian army troops with mustard gas in an offensive against a Syrian military airport in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor that borders Iraq, state media said on late Monday.
Syrian state media did not disclose how many casualties were sustained in the latest drive by the hardline fundamentalist Sunni [jihadis]ts to capture the heavily defended airport located south of Deir al Zor city, whose main neighborhoods are under [ISIS] control.
"The terrorists fired rockets carrying mustard gas," a statement said on the state-owned Ikhbariyah television station.
Deir al-Zor is a strategic location. The province links the Islamic State's de facto capital in Raqqa with its fighters in Iraq.
Reuters could not independently verify the media reports.
In the current context of the Syrian conflict, the use of chemical warheads is a clear indication that Islamic State forces are on the defensive and are resorting to what could be interpreted as desperate means to halt the recent massive Russo-Syrian offensive:
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitor which tracks violence across the country, said the [jihadis]ts had advanced with heavy aerial strikes aimed at repelling their [counter-]offensive.
The Syrian army backed by heavy Russian air strikes was able last January to drive back the hardline [jihadis]ts from several villages near the airport but has so far failed to dislodge them.
There is no reason not to suppose that the Syrians, and perhaps Russians as well, won't retaliate in kind with chemical strikes of their own. That's how escalations tend to unfold. And given the nature of their enemy, it would be a more than arguably appropriate tactic. For ruthlessness can only be defeated by greater ruthlessness, and brutality by even worse brutality. You only defeat a death cult by killing them all. The Russians and Syrian and Iranians understand that, which is why they are the "strong horses" in the Middle East equation. Or, rather, strongER, as ISIS is still in the "strong horse" category.
We, on the other hand, are weaker than a legless Shetland pony, which is why we're the prey of both sides in Syria, and are apparently about to redundantly prove it.
And the only chemicals Obama's "forces" will use will be in their overabundance of nail polish.