Finally, here is an example of the American media ascribing ISIS more tools than they actually have at their disposal. On June 19th, The Telegraph and several other sources reported that ISIS had taken over a chemical weapons compound formerly operated by Saddam Hussein. In the compound, there are bunkers filled with concrete stores of sarin and mustard gas. Right wing blogs (the usual suspects: Independent Journal Review, Twitchy, etc.) were quick to sound the alarm that Saddam's WMDs had fallen into terrorist hands. Though ISIS provides plenty to worry about, this isn't a situation that should stoke your fears. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, "We do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value and it would be very difficult, if not impossible to safely move the materials."
That is not to say that sarin and mustard gas aren't harmful. At the height of his power, Saddam's used these gases in acts of chemical warfare that amounted to genocide. In the Halabja Chemical Attack in 1988, Hussein's regime killed between 3,200 and 5,000 Kurds by deploying massive amounts of mustard and sarin gas. According to eye witness accounts, approximately eight planes drops fourteen bombs, each creating columns of smoke up to 150 feet high. Ten years afterward, hundreds of Kurds were still dealing with health consequences stemming from the attack. In the aftermath of the attacks it was revealed that a number of firms in western nations including American companies Alcolac International and Phillips (which still exist in reorganized forms today, God Bless America) sold chemical precursors to Iraq that enabled them to create these gases. This attack is considered to be separate from the larger Al-Anfal Campaign which resulted in the death of between 50,000 and 180,000 Kurdish civilian deaths, many of which were also due to chemical warfare.