Timeline of Attacks on Taza Khurmatu

June 20, 2009

A vehicle-born improvised explosive device (VBIED) exploded outside a mosque in Taza Khurmatu, more commonly known as “Taza.” The attack, blamed on Al-Qaeda in Iraq, killed 75 people (including 35 children) and injured 254 others.   


June 23, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) massacred 40 people from Taza and the surrounding areas. The killings were aimed at the area’s Shiite Turkmen population and were all executed at point-blank range.


March 8, 2016

An unnamed source in Kirkuk reports that the Islamic State attacked Taza with 11 Katyusha rockets. The rockets fell on residential buildings, causing some material damage but resulting in no injuries.


An unnamed security source in Kirkuk reported 37 rockets laden with chlorine gas fell on Taza in the evening. The Iraqi Turkmen Front called for accelerating the liberation of neighboring al-Bashir.


A PMU spokesman, Ali al-Husseini reported that 42 Katyusha rockets fell on Taza in the evening. He called for immediate intervention by the Prime Minister to protect the 40,000 people in the area.


March 9, 2016

Mohammed Mahdi al-Bayati, Secretary General of the North Branch of the Badr Organization, reported that Kirkuk hospitals had treated more than 100 people as a result of the shelling and rocket attacks on Taza.


March 10, 2016

Eli Turkmen, a spokesman for the Turkmen Party, estimated 30,000 people live in the area of the Taza attack.


The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein announced 409 people had been injured as a result of the mustard and chlorine gas attack on Taza. He said the number is increasing because symptoms appear 8-10 hours following exposure.


March 11, 2016

The UN High Commissioner announced the death of a three year old girl due to injuries sustained in the missile attack on Taza. Masroor Aswad, a member of the Iraqi Commission on Human Rights said the girl who died experienced second degree burns, difficulty breathing, and kidney failure. He said the number of casualties exceeded 400 people, 409 people, or 500 people, depending upon the report.


A PMU spokesperson, Ali al-Husseini, reported that two more Katyusha rockets carrying toxic gas fell on Taza Friday evening.


March 12, 2016

Masroor Aswad, a member of the Iraqi Commission on Human Rights, said the rockets contained mustard and chlorine gases. He described symptoms of the victims including stiff lips, bubbling skin, redness, burning eyes, severe infection, fainting, vomiting, extreme difficulty breathing. He said that specialists from the University of Kirkuk reported that the “contamination ratio reached 4/1000.” Seventeen people were critically injured, including the toddler who succumbed to her injuries.


Hussein Abbas, Director of Taza, said 45 rockets fell within three hours on Wednesday night, March 9, 2016.


Prime Minister Abadi promised the people of Taza and al-Bashir that ISIS would pay for its crime, and directed relief teams to bring medical aid.


President of the Coalition of Law, Nuri al-Maliki said the chemical weapons attack on Taza represents a continuation of Baathist government chemical weapons attacks.


Chairman of the Turkmen Front Arshad Salhi said the injury of 670 people in Taza by chemical weapons was tantamount to genocide against the Turkmen people.


The Provincial Council in Kirkuk called on the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting in response to the Taza bombing, and called for distribution of 30,000 gas masks to people in the area.


The Head of the Islamic Supreme Council Abdul Aziz al-Hakim called for the chemical attack on Taza to be “internationalized”. He said the use of chemical weapons represents a threat to international peace.


March 13, 2016

Taza Provincial Administration announced the arrival of German and U.S. investigators to review the effects of the alleged chemical weapons.


March 15, 2016

A spokesman for a Turkmen PMU in Taza announced that the number of people injured by recent chemical attacks has risen to 860.


Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for the international coalition, said lethality for ISIS’s chemical attacks will not exceed 5%. It is unclear if he confirmed or denied whether ISIS has gained access to chemical weapons. He did say coalition aircraft have worked to limit their access to greater chemical weapons capability.


Director General of Civil Defense Major General Kadhim Salman said 21 houses in Taza were treated for chemical weapons contamination following the rocket attacks.


March 16, 2016

The Chairman of the Human Rights Parliamentary Committee, Arshad Salhi, announced the death of a woman that had been exposed to the chemical attacks on Taza conducted by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) earlier this week. Her passing accounts for the second death as a result of the attacks, and casualties now amount to more than a thousand people. Salhi also criticized the silence of international organizations in response to the bombings.


March 17, 2016

The government of Taza announced the death of a second child, a six-month-old boy, from the chemical weapons attacks on Taza. It also reported that the number of casualties had risen to more than 1,000 people.


March 18, 2016

Hussein Abbas, the mayor of Taza, says the number of injured has increased to 1,500 people. He said that 25,000 people have left their homes for fear of another attack. Local officials confirmed the deaths of the six-month-old, three-year-old, and ten-year-old children. The source did not mention the alleged death of a woman on March 16. This source said local officials suspect the Katyusha rockets contained mustard agents, while many other reports mentioned chlorine gas. Tests on samples by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague will not be conclusive for several weeks.


March 19, 2016

The Director of Taza, Hussein Abbas Tazli, announced the death of a ten-year-old girl on March 18th. She was the third fatality associated with the chemical attacks on Taza. Tazli also reported that the number of injured has increased to more than 1,500 people. He said that 2,500 people have fled for fear of another attack on Taza.

Post photo by Laghmari, Wiki Commons.

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