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Al-Mishraq, or Mishraq Sulphur State Company, is a state run sulfur plant near Mosul, Iraq.

Mishraq Sulphur Plant
Official nameمصنع الكبريت المشراق (Arabic)
LocationQayyarah subdistrict, Nineveh Governorate
Coordinates35°58′54″N 43°18′43″E / 35.981678°N 43.311989°E / 35.981678; 43.311989
Owner(s)Ministry of Industry and Minerals
Operator(s)Mishraq Sulphur State Company
External links

It has twice been set alight and burned for prolonged periods. In 2003, what is thought to have been a deliberately started fire, burned for about three weeks, resulting in the largest human-made release of sulfur dioxide ever recorded. In 2016 it was set alight by ISIL and burned for seven days.


In June 2003, it was the site of the largest human-made release of sulfur dioxide ever recorded when a fire (thought to have been deliberately started) gained control and burned for about three weeks.[1] At its height, the fire was putting 21,000 tons of sulfur dioxide a day into the atmosphere. The pollution in Mosul, which is about 45 kilometres from Mishraq, reached a catastrophic level. For over 48 hours the white smoke from sulfur dioxide could be seen in the air. Many people were taken into hospitals and most vegetation was killed.

On 22 October 2016 the plant was set alight by ISIL militants as part of the Battle of Mosul. Two civilians died and nearly 1,000 people were treated for toxic gas inhalation.[2] Shifting winds sent the gas to Qayyarah Airfield West, where U.S. and coalition forces were forced to use gas masks.[3] The total mass of the released sulfur dioxide was estimated to approximately 161,000 tons distributed over seven days, equivalent to a small volcanic eruption.[4][5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Iraq sulphur fire breaks records". BBC Online. 26 October 2004. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  2. ^ "Mosul battle: Hundreds treated over toxic fumes in Iraq". BBC News. 22 October 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  3. ^ "The Latest: Abadi: Kirkuk Nearly Secured After IS Attack". ABC News. 22 October 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  4. ^ Björnham, 0.; Grahn, H.; von Schoenberg, P.; Liljedahl, B.; Waleij, A.; Brännström, N. (September 2017). "The 2016 Al-Mishraq sulphur plant fire: Source and health risk area estimation". Atmospheric Environment. 169: 287–296. arXiv:1611.03837. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.09.025.
  5. ^ "It will take years to clear up the rubble in the Middle East". The Economist. 12 October 2017.

Coordinates: 35°58′54″N 43°18′43″E / 35.9817°N 43.3120°E / 35.9817; 43.3120