As multiple reports have come to the surface over the past few weeks, the media continues to remain silent regarding the use of a deadly chemical weapon in Iraq. The chemical used, which is known as white phosphorus, is known for its detrimental effects on humans, leaving many damaged forever.
And not only is the chemical known for its detrimental effects, it is often shrouded in controversy. Typically, it is used to create smoke screens, however, it can also be dropped as an incendiary weapon. Once the shell explodes, the chemicals react with the air creating a cloud of thick, white smoke. Sadly, once it comes in contact with a person, it kills them, by burning them down to the bone.
“No matter how white phosphorus is used, it poses a high risk of horrific and long-lasting harm in crowded cities like Raqqa and Mosul and any other areas with concentrations of civilians,” said Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch. “US-led forces should take all feasible precautions to minimize civilian harm when using white phosphorus in Iraq and Syria.”
The news of its use in Syria and in Iraq recently came to the surface after a video was published on Facebook on June 8, 2017, reporting that it was being shot that day in Raqqa. In the video, you can see white phosphorus being used, as it has a distinctive air burst. In yet another video aired by the Amaq News Agency, which is an ISIS-linked outlet, the same situation was shown.
— Fazel Hawramy (@FazelHawramy) June 4, 2017
And then, the U.S-led coalition, admitted for the first time that they have used white phosphorus during the operations in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
“We have utilized white phosphorous to screen areas within West Mosul to get civilians out safely,” New Zealand Brig. Gen. Hugh McAslan tells NPR. He estimates that around 28,000 civilians have managed to make the dangerous crossing out of Islamic State territory in the past few days alone.
And while white phosphorus isn’t illegal to use at war, it’s legality has much to do with how it is being used. It can legally be used to cover movement, however, it cannot be used as a weapon.
And while General Peter Pace claimed in 2005 that it wasn’t a chemical weapon, but instead was an ‘incendiary’, he is wrong. The definition of a chemical weapon is any weapon that can be, ‘a chemical, any chemical, which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation, or permanent harm.’
Well, that sounds a lot like white phosphorus, doesn’t it? And why would it ever be necessary to use a weapon like that on a population of people when the war is supposedly against terrorists? Hmm, yet another little morsel of food for thought. We mustn’t forget that they have remained silent about its use for YEARS and have just now admitted. That begs the question of if it wasn’t as dangerous as human rights groups are claiming, then why lie? And why is the media remaining silent, yet again?