US confirms white phosphorus use in Fallujah after initially denying it 16/11/2005. ABC News Online
- From: " Malto" <.Malto@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2005 19:20:28 +1100
US confirms white phosphorus use in Fallujah. 16/11/2005. ABC News Online
US confirms white phosphorus use in Fallujah
The United States military has confirmed that its use of white phosphorus to
quell last year's insurgency in the Iraqi city of Fallujah went beyond
creating smokescreens and illumination shells.
US officials now say white phosphorus was used as an incendiary weapon in
the Fallujah assault, something the Pentagon has previously denied.
While the use of white phosphorous is not illegal and it is not classified
as a chemical weapon, analysts say the disclosure is a public relations blow
for the US military.
A spokesman for the Pentagon, Colonel Barry Venable, has explained how the
US military used the substance.
"It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants," he said.
"One technique is to fire a white phosphorous round or rounds into the
position, because the combined effects of the fire and smoke will drive them
out of the holes so that you can kill them with high explosives."
"White phosphorus is a conventional munition. It is not a chemical weapon.
They are not outlawed or illegal."
He denied media reports that US forces used white phosphorus against
Italy's state television RAI claimed last week the highly flammable
munitions were used against insurgents and civilians in Fallujah in November
The RAI documentary, Fallujah - The Hidden Massacre, said the US military
used a kind of napalm and white phosphorus in the battle, a claim denied by
the US State Department.
Robert Tuttle, US ambassador to Britain, wrote in a letter published by The
Independent newspaper on Tuesday that "US forces do not use napalm or white
phosphorus as weapons".
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