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Report Alleges U.S. Used Napalm in Fallujah
Italy's Rai TV claims to have uncovered some shocking information about the Nov. 2004 siege
Roberto Spiezio (seong)     Print Article 
Published 2005-11-11 16:04 (KST)   
On Nov. 8, the all-news satellite Italian TV channel RaiNews24 broadcast a report by the journalist Sigfrido Ranucci titled "Fallujah, the Hidden Slaughter," about the battle between American troops and Iraqi insurgents in November 2004.

According to the report, the Americans allegedly used chemical weapons against their opponents, without discriminating between military targets and civilians.(*)

The weapon used was supposedly a next generation(**) of napalm called MK-77 (different from the napalm used during the Vietnam War, but -- experts say -- with similar effects).

The traditional combination of chemical elements has been replaced with the so-called white phosphorus or "Willy Pete," a substance that has a highly incendiary effect within a 150-200 meter range.

The report showed the effects on the population of Fallujah: charred clothes and burned-to-the-bone bodies

The most sensational point is probably the testimony of an American veteran, an ex-Marine from the 1st Division, Jeff Engelhart.

Engelhart was interviewed extensively about the events in Fallujah and he openly said he heard the order to use WP over the city.

Peter Kaiser, spokesman for OPCW, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, has stated that white phosphorus is not an illegal substance if used in a war, according to the parameters set by the 1997 "Convention on the prohibition of the development, production stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and on their destruction." The United States signed this treaty.

However, Kaiser affirms, if a substance is used against people or animals, exploiting its toxic proprieties to harm or kill, then it should be considered a chemical weapon, and therefore prohibited by the Convention.

Major Todd Vician, spokesman for the Pentagon, denied any illegitimate use of WP in Fallujah. After affirming that the Pentagon strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons as "immoral," he labeled as "false" the allegations against the American troops.

In a debate that took place on Nov. 8, and moderated by the Democracy Now journalist Amy Goodman, Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq, repeatedly denied any illegal use of the white phosphorus, claming that the substance is normally used to illuminate the ground in search of targets or to cloak soldiers during combat actions.

The Italian comedian Beppe Grillo, a highly esteemed voice in Italy, observed yesterday in a post published on his official Web site, that Italy shouldn't be an accomplice to what happened -- the government should immediately recall Italian troops.

Whether all this is true or not, it's quite predictable that in Italy the report will raise indignation and scandal among political parties, especially among the left wing which has repeatedly asked for the recall of Italian soldiers from Iraq.

Related Articles
Outrage, Denials Follow Fallujah Allegations
EU Reacts to Italian Report on Fallujah
Italian Gov ' t Claims Ignorance About WP
U.S. Admits Dropping White Phosphorus in Iraq


(*) This article has been amended from "without discriminating between military
or civilian targets" to "between military targets and civilians".
(**)This article has been amended from "new type of napalm" to read "next generation of napalm".

The report video (in Italian - English - Arabic) [WARNING: The report contains strong images.]
©2005 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Roberto Spiezio

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