Donald Trump just made a military move so illegal, that even the Washington Post is calling out the obvious miscarriage of justice. The United States has used munitions packed with white phosphorous in a heavily populated area in the Iraq and Syria.
White phosphorous is not considered a chemical weapons under the Geneva Convention, however, it is classified as an incendiary weapon, illegal for use in populated regions.
According to JMCC:
“The Geneva Convention on the use of conventional weapons defines ‘incendiary weapons’ as ‘primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injury to persons through the action of flame, heat, or combination thereof, produced by a chemical reaction of a substance delivered on the target.'”
— Fazel Hawramy (@FazelHawramy) June 4, 2017
The Washington Post first broke the story. They reported that the United States used white phosphorus:
“on at least two occasions in densely populated areas of Mosul and in the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa, according to videos posted online and human rights groups.”
— الرقة تذبح بصمت (@Raqqa_SL) June 8, 2017
The following is the CDC’s emergency response to white phosphorous exposure:
- CHEMICAL DANGERS:
- Phosphorus spontaneously ignites on contact with air, producing toxic fumes (phosphorus oxides).
- Phosphorus reacts violently with oxidants, halogens, some metals, nitrites, sulfur, and many other compounds, causing a fire and explosion hazard.
- Phosphorus reacts with strong bases to produce toxic phosphine gas.
- EXPLOSION HAZARDS:
- Phosphorus reacts violently with oxidants, halogens, some metals, nitrites, sulfur, and many other compounds, causing an explosion hazard.
- Upper and lower explosive (flammable) limits in air are not available for white phosphorus.
- FIRE FIGHTING INFORMATION:
- White phosphorus is extremely flammable.
- Phosphorus will spontaneously ignite if exposed to air.
- Phosphorus ignites at approximately 86°F (30°C) in air; the ignition temperature is higher when the air is dry.
- Phosphorus reacts violently with oxidants, halogens, some metals, nitrites, sulfur, and many other compounds, causing a fire hazard.
- The agent burns rapidly, releasing dense, white irritating fumes.
- The agent may be transported in a molten form.
- The agent may re-ignite after a fire is extinguished.
- For small fires, use cold water spray, wet sand, or wet earth.
- For large fires, use cold water spray or fog. Do not scatter spilled material with high-pressure cold water streams. Move containers from the fire area if it is possible to do so without risk to personnel.
- For fire involving tanks or car/trailer loads, fight the fire from maximum distance or use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles. Cool containers with flooding quantities of cold water until well after the fire is out. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety devices or discoloration of tanks. Always stay away from tanks engulfed in fire.
- Run-off from fire control may be corrosive and/or toxic, and it may cause pollution.
- If the situation allows, control and properly dispose of run-off (effluent).