BBC: Pentagon Confirms White Phosphorous Used as Incendiary Weapon
US used white phosphorus in
Tuesday, 15 November 2005, 23:57 GMT
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The Pentagon has confirmed that US troops used white phosphorus during last year's offensive in the northern Iraqi city of Falluja.
"It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants," spokesman Lt Col Barry Venable told the BBC - though not against civilians, he said.
The US earlier denied it had been used in Falluja at all.
Col Venable denied that the substance - which can cause burning of the flesh - constituted a banned chemical weapon.
Washington is not a signatory of an international treaty restricting the use of white phosphorus devices.
Col Venable said a statement by the US state department that white phosphorus had not been used was based on "poor information".
The BBC's defence correspondent Paul Wood says having to retract its denial has been a public relations disaster for the US military.
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