Mosul (GPA) – Accusing an entity of using chemical weapons is a serious charge. Using chemical weapons on enemy troops and civilian populations is certainly a war crime deserving of punishment. So why aren’t the US government and their allies held accountable in the same way the Syrian government is?
The international community rushed to blame the Syrian government for the sarin attack this week. An incident which reportedly left dozens dead. However, officials offer no evidence beyond the accusations. The Syrian Army isn’t the only entity in the region capable of carrying out a sarin attack. According to the US state department, the Syrian rebels don’t have the means to develop a chemical weapon arsenal.
But according to journalist Seymour Hersh, a highly classified document from 2013 discloses that al-Nusra Front had the ability to manufacture large quantities of sarin. In the case of an attack at the hands of al-Nusra, the blame should shift to Assad in order to justify a ground invasion. And it was– in 2013.
But enough about Syria. The US isn’t one to point the finger when it comes to chemical weapons. The United States has a history of reluctance when it comes to giving-up their chemical weapons. Plus they still have no problem using them or selling them to allies.
Back in September of 2016, Amnesty International warned the US against using white phosphorous in the liberation of Mosul. Specifically because Mosul has such a dense population. They warned that using the flesh-eating chemical– even in a “safe” way– would pose a danger to civilians fleeing. White phosphorous makes an appearance somewhat regularly in Mosul at the hands of the US.
It’s important to note that civilian figures for Mosul are extremely hard to come by at this time. The Iraqi government and the United States are both reluctant to release casualty numbers.
The United States used white phosphorous over Raqqa as recently as last week. Discharging this chemical over a civilian population is a direct violation of the 1980 Geneva convention extension.
White phosphorus isn’t even supposed to be used on enemy troops. Stipulations state it must be discharged in wide-open areas to use as a “screen” to shield troops.
The United States has no problem supplying Saudi Arabia with white phosphorous. But they won’t tell you how much.
Saudi Arabia has a history of indiscriminately bombing civilian areas in Yemen like funerals and hospitals. The Saudis most recently dropped white phosphorus over Yemen in September of 2016.
This list would not be complete without mentioning Israel. Who very intentionally dropped white phosphorus shells over a very civilian population of Gaza.
Where was the international outrage calling for NATO intervention?
The US is no stranger to chemical weapons– they have no problems using them. Not in the past in the case of Agent Orange, and not now. Mainstream media very deliberately ignores each of the war zones mentioned above. And for a very specific reason. Each of these places include high civilian casualties at either the hands of the US or their allies. Where is the media outrage over the United States’ war crimes?
Also published on Medium.