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Human Rights Watch Warns U.S.-Coalition Against Use of White Phosphorus

Organization says alliance's use of internationally banned weapons in populated areas poses high risk of horrific harm to civilians, state media reports
Human Rights Watch Warns U.S.-Coalition Against Use of White Phosphorus

Human Rights Watch slammed the use of white phosphorus by the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State (ISIS) coalition in Raqqa province, urging it not to use it as an incendiary weapon in populated areas, even when delivered from the ground.

Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch, said in a report published on its website: “No matter how white phosphorus is used, it poses a high risk of horrific and long-lasting harm in crowded cities like Raqqa and Mosul and any other areas with concentrations of civilians,” adding that U.S.-led forces should take all feasible precautions to minimize civilian harm when using white phosphorus in Iraq and Syria.

On June 9, the U.S.-led coalition acknowledged using the internationally banned white phosphorus munitions in its strikes in Raqqa.

“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,” Goose said.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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