www.xinhuanet.com
XINHUA online
CHINA VIEW
VIEW CHINA
 Breaking News Sri Lanka's presidential election begins    Urgent: Ports ordered to prevent human infection of bird flu     Israel fires heavy artillery at targets in N. Gaza    Suicide car bomb explodes in southern Afghanistan, killing two     3 killed, 35 injured in blast outside bank    Koizumi,Bush seek to reaffirm Japan-US alliance    
Home  
China  
World  
Business  
Technology  
Opinion  
Culture/Edu  
Sports  
Entertainment  
Life/Health  
Travel  
Weather  
RSS  
  About China
  Map
  History
  Constitution
  CPC & Other Parties
  State Organs
  Local Leadership
  White Papers
  Statistics
  Major Projects
  English Websites
  BizChina
- Conferences & Exhibitions
- Investment
- Bidding
- Enterprises
- Policy update
- Technological & Economic Development Zones
Online marketplace of Manufacturers & Wholesalers
   News Photos Voice People BizChina Feature About us   
US: White phosphorus used but legal
www.chinaview.cn 2005-11-17 09:56:09

Related: US "used" chemical weapon on Falluja civilians: report

    BEIJING, Nov. 17 -- US has acknowledged using incendiary white phosphorus munitions in a 2004 offensive in the Iraqi city of Fallujah but defended their use as legal.

    Italian state-run broadcaster RAI reported early this month that US military froces in Iraq used incendiary white phosphorus against men, women and children in Fallujah, who were burned to the bone.

"Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone ..." a former US soldier told Italian reporter.

"Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone ..."  a former US soldier told Italian reporter.
    Army Lt Col Barry Venable, a Pentagon spokesman, admited Wednesday that phosphorus was indeed "used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants."

    The Pentagon insisted civilians had not been targeted, however, and that it had avoided unnecessary casualties by evacuating the city before the offensive.

    Washington's new position is that phosphorus is "not a chemical weapon" and "not outlawed or illegal".

    White phosphorus munitions are primarily used by the US military to make smoke screens and mark targets, but also as an incendiary weapon, the Pentagon says.

    In a documentary broadcast early this month, a former American soldier who fought at Fallujah said: "I heard the order to pay attention because they were going to use white phosphorus on Fallujah. In military jargon it's known as Willy Pete."

    "Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone ... I saw the burned bodies of women and children. Phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone within a radius of 150 metres is done for."

    The use of incendiary weapons against civilians has been banned by the Geneva Convention since 1980.

(Agencies)

  Related Story
Copyright ©2003 Xinhua News Agency. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.