Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Meanwhile, in Syria and Iraq

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group of militias dominated by ethnic Kurds, launched their offensive on Raqqa last week amid weapons and military hardware supplies from the US. The effort is taking a serious toll on civilian residents of the city controlled by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), chairman of the UN Commission of Inquiry into the Syrian conflict said on Wednesday.

“We note in particular that the intensification of airstrikes, which have paved the ground for an SDF advance in Raqqa, has resulted not only in staggering loss of civilian life, but has also led to 160,000 civilians fleeing their homes and becoming internally displaced,” Paulo Sergio Pinheiro told the UN Human Rights Council, Reuters reports.

A New Zealand general has confirmed that the US-led coalition fighting in Mosul has used munitions loaded with white phosphorus. It comes amid mounting criticism over the use of the multipurpose weapon, which can be extremely dangerous to civilians.


“We have utilized white phosphorous to screen areas within west Mosul to get civilians out safely,” [New Zealand’s Brig. Gen. Hugh McAslan] told the US broadcaster NRP, in what appears to be the first confirmation of its kind.


White phosphorus burns when it comes into contact with oxygen, producing high-temperature heat and characteristic white smoke.


Submunitions can ignite days after deployment and remain a hazard for a city. Injuries caused by the chemical can burn to the bone and are prone to reigniting, if a piece of the phosphorous remaining in the wound is exposed to air when a dressing is changed.

White phosphorous to get civilians to safety. Think about that for one second.
The confirmation comes as Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticized the coalition on Wednesday for deploying the controversial type of munitions in the fight against IS.
Controversial?  Whatever happened to the ban on using white phosphorous?
Munitions with the chemical can be used as incendiary weapons, to lay down smoke screens or as signals.

While deploying incendiary weapons against residential areas is banned under Protocol III of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), the two other uses are not, which allows some nations, including the US, to keep such munitions in their arsenal.
Then what the fuck is the use of the ban? Any idiot knows that any use of it will be claimed to be a permitted use.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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