“THE US has admitted its troops in Iraq used white phosphorus shells against insurgents in Fallujah last year, but said civilians were not targeted.
After earlier denials, the Pentagon yesterday acknowledged that the toxic incendiary agent was used during what a US army journal called ‘shake and bake’ attacks on the Iraqi city.
‘It’s part of our conventional weapons inventory. We use it like we use any other conventional weapon,’ Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman said.
Previously the Pentagon’s official line had been that its forces used white phosphorus only to light up the battlefield and produce smokescreens but not as an attack weapon.
Another spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Barry Venable, claimed the US military had never used the highly flammable weapons against civilians, contrary to Italian state television reports that the phosphorus shells were used against men, women and children in Fallujah, who were burnt to the bone.
‘We categorically deny that claim,’ Colonel Venable said. (UberKiwi: Of course they would. Doesn’t change the fact that they did. Only last week they categorically denied the use of phosphorus)
He said white phosphorus weapons were not outlawed or banned by any convention.
But a protocol to the international accord on conventional weapons that took effect in 1983 forbids using incendiary weapons against civilians.
The Pentagon spokesman said he had no knowledge of any civilian victims of attacks with white phosphorus. (Thats because they don’t do body counts and they don’t watch the news)
‘We don’t target any civilians with any of our weapons, and to suggest US forces were targeting civilians with these weapons would be wrong,’ he said.” (They don’t target civilians. They target “insurgents” that either turn out to be ordinary civilians, or they use a weapon that kills the insurgent and a few hundred innocent civilians caught up as collateral damage. If you drop bombs that have a kill radius of 150 metres, you have to expect that civilians are going to be killed, as well as the insurgent)