Beirut: Human Rights Watch says the US-led coalition fighting Daesh in Syria and Iraq is endangering civilians by using artillery-delivered white phosphorus.
Steve Goose, the arms director for the New-York-based rights group, says in a statement on Wednesday that “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.
HRW, citing research and media reports, refers to several incidents in Raqqa and Mosul where artillery-fired white phosphorous was used but could not determine if there were casualties. The group says the rationale for the use of the weapon is unclear as the US-led coalition doesn’t comment on specific incidents.
White phosphorous is designed to illuminate battlefields at night, but can cause severe and lasting burns.