Rome, Nov 8 (Prensa Latina) The Pentagon used chemical weapons, including a modern version of a UN-banned inflammatory napalm, during the offensive against the Iraqi city of Faluja, an Italian investigative journalist has revealed.
Italian Public TV RAI broke the news Tuesday with “Faluja, the hidden slaughter” by journalist Sigfrido Ranucci, who confirmed with US journalists and ex military that the 510lb. Mark (MK)77 firebombs dropped on Iraq, consist of 44lbs of polystyrene-like gel and 63 gallons of jet fuel.
This new version of napalm, banned by a 1980 UN Convention for use against civilians that the US refused to sign, is relatively less harmful to the environment because it uses a different petroleum distillate, but provokes temperatures ranging from 1,472°F to 2,192°F.
The report explained this substance now targeting the Iraqi civilian population was used in its earlier form against the German city of Dresden during WWII and in Vietnam.
Washington claimed it had destroyed all of this chemical from its arsenals in 2001.
Former US Marine Jeff Englehart, who participated in the operation against Faluja in November 2004, said the firebombs scorch the human body to the bone, but leave everything else, including clothing, untouched.
The US-UK coalition admitted its use in January, but claimed it was limited to lighting target areas.
However, Englehart denounced that the terrible mixture lights up three-quarter square miles for two minutes in the form of a cloud-like blast and nothing within a 500-foot radius can escape; and added “its effects on human flesh are devastating.”
Pentagon reports on the operation in Faluja admitted “the annihilation of more than 1,600 Iraqi combatants,” but left out the civilian victims.
Englehart said he saw the scorched bodies of women and children.
Faluja Human Rights Center director, Mohammed Tarek el Deraji, said the Army classified the firebomb substances as inflammatory, but not as chemical weapons.
The investigative report includes testimony by Italian journalist Guiliana Sgrena, kidnapped February 4 near Baghdad University as she readied to interview survivors in Faluja to confirm the use of MK77.
Sgrena was released in March this year but her car was attacked by a US patrol on its way to the airport. An Italian escort died in the attack, but she returned home alive and was able to denounce the incident