The Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria claims US used white phosphorus
The United States has launched an airstrike on a town in the Syrian Deir Ez-Zor province with alleged white phosphorus munition, igniting massive fires, according to a Russian military spokesperson.
The Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria claims two F-15 jets bombed the town of Hajin with recently banned white phosphorus incendiary munitions, the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria have said.
White phosphorus was banned under the Geneva Convention.
“Following the strikes, large fires were observed in the area,” Lieutenant-General Vladimir Savchenko explains.
“There’s still no information on casualties caused by the bombing run,” he added.
According to a Pentagon spokesperson, there was no white phosphorus used in the bombs.
“At this time, we have not received any reports of any use of white phosphorous,” Commander Sean Robertson told the media on Sunday.
“None of the military units in the area are even equipped with white phosphorous munitions of any kind.”
The use of incendiary munitions in populated civilian areas was banned by the 1980 Protocol III of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.
Light up the Night
Marines fire an 81mm mortar during training in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in Hajin, Syria. pic.twitter.com/GOc5kav4FU
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) September 10, 2018
In 2009, the US military signed the protocol agreeing to the ban.
According to RT: White phosphorus, however, is also used for smoke screens and signals, which are not banned under the Convention.
The loophole allows several nations, including the US, to keep the white-phosphorus based weapons in their arsenal.
The chemical burns when it comes into contact with oxygen, producing high-temperature heat and white smoke.
Exposure to burning phosphorus causes deep burns, which are very hard to heal, while its fumes are highly toxic.
Russia’s accusations against the US come as tensions between the two countries soar in the region.
The Russian Defense Ministry has repeatedly warned of a false-flag chemical attack being prepared by militant groups in Idlib, which it says will be used to justify a new US strike against the Syrian government.
Moscow has also held massive naval drills in the Mediterranean Sea near Syria.
The US, in its turn, has also ramped up its military presence in the area, getting several ships equipped with cruise missiles closer to Syrian shores.
President Donald Trump has meanwhile been “routinely” briefed by the Pentagon on the potential “military options” the US might take in case of chemical weapons attack.