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Human Rights Watch accuses US-led coalition’s use of white phosphorous

14.06.2017 17:43

The Human Rights Watch organization has condemned the use of white phosphorous projectiles in Iraq and Syria by the US-led coalition.

"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", Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch, said, according to the organization’s website.

"US-led forces should take all feasible precautions to minimize civilian harm when using white phosphorus in Iraq and Syria", he added.

Human Rights Watch was unable to independently verify whether the use of white phosphorous projectiles resulted in any civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria. The purpose of using these munitions is also unclear, the organization said.

White phosphorous may have been used to provide cover for fleeing civilians and obscure snipers of the Islamic State terrorists, it said referring to a US-led coalition comment to media.

SANA news agency reported on June 9 that white phosphorus projectiles have been used in Syria’s Raqqa, leaving 17 people dead.