Earlier this month, multiple reports surfaced of US-led coalition forces in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria, using the incendiary chemical weapon, white phosphorus, on civilians. For over a week, the US government and the coalition at large have remained silent on the issue — until now.
In an error that will likely get him much backlash, in an interview with NPR, New Zealand Brig. Gen. Hugh McAslan, and member of the US-coalition has admitted — for the first time — to using white phosphorus during operations in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
“We have utilized white phosphorous to screen areas within West Mosul to get civilians out safely,” McAslan told NPR on Tuesday.
Instead of questioning the horrid nature of the chemical weapons use on civilians, NPR echoed the general’s sentiment and noted that 28,000 civilians have managed to escape. While that may be true, countless others were injured or suffered horrifying deaths.
White phosphorus is described as an “incendiary and toxic chemical substance used as a filler in a number of different munitions that can be employed for a variety of military purposes.”
The chemical was banned internationally after the 1980 Protocol on Incendiary Weapons restricted the “use of incendiary weapons as a means or method of warfare during armed conflict.”
The use of chemical weapons is clearly prohibited in international armed conflicts. The International Committee of the Red Cross noted that “employing asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all analogous liquids, materials or devices is listed in the Statute of the International Criminal Court as a war crime.”
— source muricatoday.com