On November 8, 2005 an Italian television
documentary falsely claimed that U.S. forces had used chemical
weapons during anti-insurgent operations in Fallujah, Iraq
in November 2004. The documentary erroneously describes
white phosphorus as a chemical weapon.
White phosphorus is simply another conventional
munition - it is not a chemical weapon. White phosphorus
munitions are not outlawed or illegal. U.S. forces primarily
use them as obscurants, i.e., smoke screens, or for target
Suggestions that U.S. forces targeted civilians
with this weapon are simply wrong.
* Coalition Forces (CF) have not targeted the Iraqi civilian
population during Operation Iraqi Freedom. CF go to extreme
lengths to ensure that everything possible is done to ensure
that civilians and noncombatants are not put in harm's way
during our operations.
* The Iraqi security forces and multi-national force have
been engaged in operations against the terrorists, insurgents
and former regime elements for the past two and a half years.
In that regard, this conflict has been prosecuted in the
most precise fashion of any conflict in the history of modern
* The loss of any innocent life is a tragedy, something
that Iraqi security forces and coalition forces painstakingly
work to avoid every single day. Former regime elements,
terrorists and insurgents have made a practice of deliberately
targeting noncombatants; of using civilians as human shields;
and of operating and conducting attacks against coalition
forces from within areas inhabited by civilians.
We have seen these baseless charges before.
Had the producers of the documentary exercised due diligence
and sought comment from the U.S. Department of Defense,
we would have certainly told them that the premise of the
program was simply erroneous.
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