New Chemical Attack In Syria Crosses “Red Line” [U.S. Hypocrisy]
By Brandon Turbeville
Throughout 2017, the United States has continued its race to become the most hypocritical nation on the face of the earth by continuing not only to violate basic principles of respect for human life and international law but also its own “red lines.” Despite Obama’s grandstanding over “red lines” and chemical weapons and Trump’s bloviating and subsequent war crimes surrounding “chemical weapons” and “beautiful babies,” the United States has committed what amounts to its own chemical attack on the Syrian and Iraqi people.
Although not specifically considered a “chemical weapon” in the traditional sense, white phosphorous is, in effect, a chemical agent. It is used largely for its smoke screening purposes but there is also a psychological element since contact with white phosphorous results in excruciatingly painful deep first, second, and third degree burns.
The use of white phosphorous over heavily populated civilian areas is prohibited under international law. In fact, white phosphorous is only allowed if the agent is being used for the purposes of masking or camouflage. If being used as a weapon, it is banned as a chemical weapon under the Chemical Weapons Convention. International law, however, has never gotten in the way of America’s goals and, for that reason, the U.S. has used the chemical repeatedly in both Iraq and Syria for some time.
But while little evidence has been produced demonstrating any harm to civilians from use of the chemical by the U.S., it is important to point out that the city of Mosul, Iraq is indeed a densely populated area and also one in which the U.S. has used white phosphorous. Indeed, Western media reports have also stated that Raqqa, despite being controlled by ISIS, is heavily populated with civilians who were not allowed to leave by Western-backed terrorists.
For the record, a New Zealand coalition general has finally admitted to the use of the chemical munitions in Iraq and Syria, marking the first time the potential war crime has been openly acknowledged.
A New Zealand army general on Wednesday confirmed that coalition forces fighting ISIS have used the controversial chemical white phosphorus in the Iraqi city of Mosul. The revelation comes after the Human Rights Watch issued a news release this week criticizing the U.S.-led coalition for deploying the incendiary in populated areas of Syria and Iraq.*
“White phosphorus fragments can exacerbate wounds even after treatment and can enter the bloodstream and cause multiple organ failure. Already dressed wounds can reignite when dressings are removed and they are re-exposed to oxygen,” the release states.
HRW’s arms director Steve Goose said Wednesday, “Horrific civilian harm from previous use of white phosphorus has generated public outrage and this latest use of white phosphorus underscores the urgent need for states to strengthen international law relating to incendiary weapons.” In spite of these allegations, HRW was not able to independently verify that the use of the incendiary chemical has resulted in any civilian casualties on the ground in Syria or Iraq.
The chemical is not banned under international law, and its permitted use in war is tied to conditions that limits its risks to harm civilians. It is worth noting that Mosul is a relatively densely populated area, making it an area where casualties from chemical burns could be catastrophic.
Shortly after HRW’s statements, New Zealand Brig. Gen. Hugh McAslan told NPR on Wednesday that the chemical was used to create a smokescreen that helped civilians safely evacuate volatile areas in Mosul earlier this year. This is the first time that any member of the coalition acknowledged the use of white phosphorus in Iraq or Syria. McAslan estimated that 28,000 civilians have managed to make the dangerous crossing out of Islamic State territory in the past few days alone.
Online videos surfaced on Thursday showing bursts of white phosphorous munitions at night over the Syrian city of Raqqa, where coalition forces are fighting ISIS militants. The source of the footage is a group called Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently; the content of the footage has not yet been independently verified. Amnesty International says that while it is not able to vouch for the video’s credibility, the use of white phosphorous in Raqqa could potentially be a war crime.
What is surprising is not the fact that the U.S. would commit a war crime or even that it would admit to doing so but that the mainstream media would actually cover the crime, and the discredited Human Rights Watch organization that has supported terrorists and heavily promoted war for at least the last six years would dare criticize it.
It has not been determined whether the shells that appeared to contain white phosphorus landed in populated areas, but tens of thousands of civilians are believed to still be in Raqqa, even as many Islamic State leaders have fled south to Mayadeen in Deir al-Zour Province. Unicef, the United Nations Children’s Fund, warned that 40,000 children are believed to be trapped in the city.
Residents said that most of the Islamic State fighters left in Raqqa were local recruits, along with some foreign fighters, and that the most experienced commanders and fighters having decamped.
Funny enough, when the Syrian or Russian military bombs areas near Raqqa, the United States and its harpies in the NGO and media communities can’t shout loud enough that the target areas are heavily populated with civilians.
Regardless, it is clear to just about everyone that the United States has once again committed a crime against humanity by prosecuting its illegal war in Syria in support of terrorist forces in order to overthrow the Syrian government. In the process, it has actually managed to cross its own much-publicized “red line” in Syria.
TLB published this original article with permission from Activist Post.com
About the author: Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books. He has published over 1000 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
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