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US warplanes drop phosphorous bombs on Syria: Russia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The still shows suspected white phosphorus munitions raining down on the northern Syrian city of Raqqah in June 2017. (Via the New Arab)

American warplanes reportedly drop phosphorous bombs on a village in the eastern Syria province of Dayr al-Zawr.

Vladimir Savchenko, the chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, announced the development on Sunday, Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency reported.

"On September 8, 2018, two F-15 warplanes of the US air force delivered airstrikes on the settlement of Hajin with the use of phosphorous bombs. The airstrikes caused heavy fires. Information about casualties and damages is being verified," he said.

“The Russian reconciliations center warned that the use of munitions containing yellow phosphorus is prohibited by an additional protocol to the Geneva Convention of 1949,” the agency added.

Last June, New York-based organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) similarly warned that a United States-led coalition purporting to be fighting the Daesh Takfiri terror group in Syria and Iraq was deploying white phosphorous bombs in the Arab countries. “No matter how white phosphorus is used, it poses a high risk of horrific and long-lasting harm in crowded cities like [Syria’s] Raqqah and [Iraq’s] Mosul and any other areas with concentrations of civilians,” Steve Goose, the arms director at the HRW, said back at the time.

The ammunitions can cause extensive and deep second and third degree burns, while inhalation of the gas released by them potentially results in illness or death.

Washington and scores of its allies invaded Syria in 2014 under the pretext of battling the Takfiris. The coalition’s presence persists, although Damascus and its allied countries defeated Daesh late last year.

Russia, which provides aerial back-up for Syria’s counter-terrorism drive, has taken issue with the US-led operations on many occasions, blaming the coalition for its slow pace of fighting the terrorists, and even accusing it of assisting them in different ways.

Reports of the use of the banned ammunitions by the US come as Syria and Russia are engaged in concerted anti-terror operations in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib.

The Idlib battle is considered by many to be the Arab country’s last struggle against foreign-backed terrorists, who have been besetting the nation since 2011.

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