ISIS Using Chemical Artillery Shells

The New York Times has the story of a family in Marea, Syria, whose home was shelled in an ISIS attack:

Struck from afar by a blister-agent shell, the family would suffer from an agonizing form of violence that since the 1990s, when the Convention on Chemical Weapons took force in much of the world, had seemed to fade into the past, only to be revived by the Islamic State.

Since the spring, the group has used two types of chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria multiple times, according to international arms analysts, victims, local activists and Western officials, joining Syria’s government as a party in the conflict that has used chemical weapons.

The weapons have included improvised bombs containing chlorine, a toxic industrial chemical that Sunni militants in Iraq have crudely weaponized in vehicle and roadside bombs for roughly a decade, and artillery or mortar projectiles containing a blister agent that appeared this summer after being fired from Islamic State battlefield positions.

These projectiles have delivered sulfur mustard, an internationally banned chemical warfare agent, according to American officials familiar with the analysis of soil samples, ordnance and victims’ clothing collected after several attacks. Two American officials said items analyzed from the Aug. 21 attack on Marea were among those that confirmed the agent’s use.

It might be fairly argued that President Bush took the threat of chemical weapons too seriously. But it’s for damn sure that President Obama doesn’t take the threat seriously at all.