Fallujah is a city in the Iraqi province of Al Anbar, located roughly 69 kilometers (43 miles) west of Baghdad on the Euphrates. Its called the “city of mosques” for having over 200 mosques found in the city and surroundings. In 2003 after the American led invasion on Iraq ‘Fallujah’ was documented to be the ‘least’ affected area. Known as the most peaceful area in Iraq ,where the US soldiers were welcomed most peacefully after the fall of ‘Saddam Hussein’.
The First Assault:
The wave of violence protests started after the killing of 17 Iraqi Civilians by the American Army. A group of locals defied the curfew and ambushed a US convoy.
The four armed contractors, Scott Helvenston, Jerry (Jerko) Zovko, Wesley Batalona, and Michael Teague, were dragged from their cars, beaten, and set on fire. Their burned corpses were then dragged through the streets before being hung over a bridge crossing the Euphrates. This bridge is unofficially referred to as “Blackwater Bridge” by Coalition Forces operating there.Photographs of the event were released to news agencies worldwide, causing outrage in the United States, and prompting the announcement of a campaign to reestablish American control over the city.
However the ‘images’ that were not released to the media were of the US led operation on Fallujah. The excessive use of white phosphorous and the ‘burned’ corpses of many innocent civilians.
This was not shown
According to the BBC:
US troops used white phosphorus as a weapon in last year’s offensive in the Iraqi city of Falluja, the US has said.“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 had earlier said the substance – which can cause burning of the flesh – had been used only for illumination.
The BBC reports :
The US-led assault on Falluja – a stronghold of the Sunni insurgency west of Baghdad – displaced most of the city’s 300,000 population and left many of its buildings destroyed.
Col Venable told the BBC’s PM radio programme that the US army used white phosphorus incendiary munitions “primarily as obscurants, for smokescreens or target marking in some cases.
“However it is an incendiary weapon and may be used against enemy combatants.
And he said it had been used in Falluja, but it was a “conventional munition”, not a chemical weapon.
It is not “outlawed or illegal“, Col Venable said.
The Legal Hogwash:
When we hear that there is always a way around law, always a way to make the most illegal things legal,its true. It doesnt sound absurd anymore considering the world we live in now. Where the laws are moulded the rich and the powerful. No space to shove humanity now is there?. White Phosphorous is known to cause burning of skin and flesh on the slightest contact with particles. Should such a chemical be used as a battlefield illumination in civilian areas?. Is battlefield illmination an excuse for the burning flesh of innocent civilians? . Is it not sheer hypocrisy that ‘chemical weaposn’ were used in a war that was started claiming that Iraq hosted ‘weapons of mass destruction’ . Why is the US only always dictating the rest of teh world about US of illegal weaponary? Where is the UN resolution banning use of chemical weapons now? Why is it that when Iraqis burnt we were expected to stand silent.
Below is a documentary covering the use of White Phosphorous in civilian areas of Fallujah. Its been called the ‘hidden massacre’. The documentary by Sigfrido Ranucci and Maurizio Torrealta hopes to expose Us war crimes in Iraq while documenting use of Chemical weapons and other human right violations.
MUST WATCH : * Warning: Graphic Images*
Special Thanks to Jehanzeb Rizvi for suggesting the Documentary.