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IRAQ: ITALIAN TV ALLEGES U.S. USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN FALLUJAH
A documentary to be aired on Tuesday by Italian state satellite TV channel RAI News 24 alleges that US troops used chemical weapons during their assault on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah in November last year. The documentary - 'Fallujah - the hidden massacre' - uses witness accounts from former US soldiers, Fallujah residents, video footage and photographs, to support its claim that contrary to US State Department denials, white phosphorous was used indiscriminately on the city, causing terrible injuries to civilians, including women and children.
"I heard the order being issued to be careful because white phosphorous was being used on Fallujah. In military slang this is known as Willy Pete. Phosphorous burns bodies, melting the flesh right down to the bone," says one former US solider, interviewed by the documentary's director, Sigfrido Ranucci.
"I saw the burned bodies of women and children. The phosophorous explodes and forms a plume. Who ever is within a 150 metre radius has no hope," the former soldier adds.
"A rain of fire came down on the city, and people targeted by the different coloured substances began to burn. We found people dead, with strange injuries, with their clothes intact," a biologist from Fallujah, Mohamad Tareq al-Deraji tells Ranucci.
The evidence in 'Fallujah - the hidden massacre' claims to show the US forces did not use phosphorous in the legitimate way - to highlight enemy positions - but dropped the substance indiscriminately on the city, and on a massive scale. The documentary also shows the terrible damage wrought by the US bombardment of Fallujah, and the carnage to civilians, some of whom lay sleeping.
Equally disturbingly, a document in the report claims to prove that the U.S. forces have used the MK77 form of Napalm - the chemical used with devastating effect on civilians during the Vietnam war - on civilians in Iraq.
"I had gathered testimonials on the use of phosphorous and Napalm in Iraq from several refugees from Fallujah, and wanted to tell the world about it, but my kidnappers would not allow me to," said Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, held hostage in Iraq earlier this year, during the documentary.
The use of white phosophorous and Napalm is prohibited
by UN conventions. Moroever, the United States signed up to the Chemical
Weapons Convention in 1997.