War crimes : phosphorus : US claimed: ‘Chemical Weapon’

2005-11-25

Richard Moore

Regarding Saddam's use of white phosphorus:

    In late February 1991, an intelligence source reported,
    during the Iraqi crackdown on the Kurdish uprising that
    followed the coalition victory against Iraq, "Iraqi forces
    loyal to President Saddam may have possibly used white
    phosphorous chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels and
    the populace in Erbil and Dohuk.

Regarding America's own use of white phosphorus:
    
    The US State Department and the Pentagon have shifted
    their position repeatedly in the aftermath of the film's
    showing. After initially saying that US forces do not use
    white phosphorus as a weapon, the Pentagon now says that
    WP had been used against insurgents in Fallujah. The use
    of WP against civilians as a weapon is prohibited.

And who was considered 'an insurgent'? ...from an earlier
posting:

 http://cyberjournal.org/cj/show_archives/?id=948&lists=newslog:
    Believing that American and Iraqi forces were bent on
    killing anyone who stayed in Fallujah, Hammad said he
    watched people attempt to swim across the Euphrates to
    escape the siege. "Even then the Americans shot them with
    rifles from the shore," he said. "Even if some of them
    were holding a white flag or white clothes over their
    heads to show they are not fighters, they were all shot."



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http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/112305Q.shtml

US Intelligence Classified White Phosphorus as

By Peter Popham and Anne Penketh 
The Independent UK 

Wednesday 23 November 2005 

The Italian journalist who launched the controversy over
the American use of white phosphorus (WP) as a weapon of
war in the Fallujah siege has accused the Americans of
hypocrisy.

Sigfrido Ranucci, who made the documentary for the RAI
television channel aired two weeks ago, said that a US
intelligence assessment had characterised WP after the
first Gulf War as a "chemical weapon."

The assessment was published in a declassified report on
the American Department of Defense website. The file was
headed: "Possible use of phosphorous chemical weapons by
Iraq in Kurdish areas along the Iraqi-Turkish-Iranian
borders."

In late February 1991, an intelligence source reported,
during the Iraqi crackdown on the Kurdish uprising that
followed the coalition victory against Iraq, "Iraqi forces
loyal to President Saddam may have possibly used white
phosphorous chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels and
the populace in Erbil and Dohuk. The WP chemical was
delivered by artillery rounds and helicopter gunships."

According to the intelligence report, the "reports of
possible WP chemical weapon attacks spread quickly among
the populace in Erbil and Dohuk. As a result, hundreds of
thousands of Kurds fled from these two areas" across the
border into Turkey.

"When Saddam used WP it was a chemical weapon," said Mr.
Ranucci, "but when the Americans use it, it's a
conventional weapon. The injuries it inflicts, however,
are just as terrible however you describe it."

In the television documentary, eyewitnesses inside
Fallujah during the bombardment in November last year
described the terror and agony suffered by victims of the
shells . Two former American soldiers who fought at
Fallujah told how they had been ordered to prepare for the
use of the weapons. The film and still photographs posted
on the website of the channel that made the film -
rainews24.it - show the strange corpses found after the
city's destruction, many with their skin apparently melted
or caramelised so their features were indistinguishable.
Mr. Ranucci said he had seen photographs of "more than
100" of what he described as "anomalous corpses" in the
city.

The US State Department and the Pentagon have shifted
their position repeatedly in the aftermath of the film's
showing. After initially saying that US forces do not use
white phosphorus as a weapon, the Pentagon now says that
WP had been used against insurgents in Fallujah. The use
of WP against civilians as a weapon is prohibited.

Military analysts said that there remain questions about
the official US position regarding its observance of the
1980 conventional weapons treaty which governs the use of
WP as an incendiary weapon and sets out clear guidelines
about the protection of civilians.

Daryl Kimball, director of the Arms Control Association in
Washington, called for an independent investigation of the
use of WP during the Fallujah siege. "If it was used as an
incendiary weapon, clear restrictions apply," he said.

"Given that the US and UK went into Iraq on the ground
that Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons against his
own people, we need to make sure that we are not violating
the laws that we have subscribed to," he added.

Yesterday Adam Mynott, a BBC correspondent in Nassiriya in
April 2003, told RAI News 24 that he had seen WP
apparently used as a weapon against insurgents in that
city.

-- 

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