CBS Skips Reports ISIS Used Chemical Weapons to Attack Iraqi Kurdish Forces

On Thursday night, the CBS Evening News omitted reports that the Islamic terrorist group ISIS used chemical weapons in multiple attacks in Iraq over the past week against Kurdish forces the group claimed responsibility for a bombing in Iraq earlier in the day.

In contrast, ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News offered news briefs on the development with the latter program also providing a full report from chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel on the brutality of female members of ISIS in enforcing Islamic laws on women living under the terrorist group’s control.

World News Tonight anchor David Muir reserved 14 seconds of the newscast for a matter that he promised viewers his show would continue to monitor:

An alarming development overseas tonight. We turn to Iraq now where U.S. officials this evening are now saying they believe ISIS used chemical weapons in an attack there earlier this week. At this hour, there's no word where those chemical weapons came from. We'll stay on it.

Over on NBC, anchor Lester Holt described the news as “[a] terrifying development in the Middle East with several U.S. officials telling NBC News that ISIS has used chemical weapons twice in recent weeks in both Iraq and Syria.”

Along with the chemical attacks, Holt noted the massive truck bomb that ISIS denoted in Baghdad: “ISIS today claimed responsibility for the deadliest single bombing in Baghdad in nearly a decade. At least 76 people were killed, more than 200 injured in the blast at a crowded market.”

Here’s more on the chemical weapons attacks from The Wall Street Journal:

Islamic State militants likely used mustard agent against Kurdish forces in Iraq this week, senior U.S. officials said Thursday, in the first indication the militant group has obtained banned chemicals.

The officials said Islamic State could have obtained the mustard agent in Syria, whose government admitted to having large quantities in 2013 when it agreed to give up its chemical-weapons arsenal.

The use of mustard agent would mark an upgrade in Islamic State’s battlefield capabilities, and a worrisome one given U.S. intelligence fears about hidden caches of chemical weapons in Syria, where Islamic State controls wide swaths of territory.

It raises new questions about the evolving threat posed by Islamic State and the ability of U.S. allies on the ground to combat it. Frontline Kurdish, Iraqi and moderate Syrian forces say they aren’t getting enough U.S. support now to counter Islamic State’s conventional capabilities.

Instead of covering the story on air, CBSNews.com did publish an article on the troubling developments.

The transcript of the brief from ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir on August 13 can be found below.

ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir
August 13, 2015
6:40 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: An alarming development overseas tonight. We turn to Iraq now where U.S. officials this evening are now saying they believe ISIS used chemical weapons in an attack there earlier this week. At this hour, there's no word where those chemical weapons came from. We'll stay on it.

The brief from August 13's NBC Nightly News is transcribed below.

NBC Nightly News
August 13, 2015
7:12 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Fighting ISIS]

LESTER HOLT: A terrifying development in the Middle East with several U.S. officials telling NBC News that ISIS has used chemical weapons twice in recent weeks in both Iraq and Syria. ISIS today claimed responsibility for the deadliest single bombing in Baghdad in nearly a decade. At least 76 people were killed, more than 200 injured in the blast at a crowded market. 

NB Daily Foreign Policy Iraq Middle East Syria War on Terrorism Islam CBS online ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Wall Street Journal Video ISIS Islamic State of Iraq and Syria David Muir Lester Holt
Curtis Houck's picture


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