News

Turkey Accused of Using Banned Napalm and White Phosphorous on Kurdish Forces as Images of Burned Children Emerge

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Disturbing video and images have been released from northern Syria where Kurdish forces continue to clash with the Turkish military.

After the United States pulled its forces from the area, the Turkish military has advanced to eliminate or force the Kurdish forces out of the area.

Vice President Mike Pence was able to broker a temporary cease fire earlier this week. However, there are already accusations by both sides that the agreement is not being honored.

Now, disturbing images from the area are beginning to emerge showing Turkish children and civilians with bad burns consistent with those caused by napalm and white phosphorous.

According to Wikipedia summaries:

Napalm is an incendiary mixture of a gelling agent and a volatile petrochemical (usually gasoline (petrol) or diesel fuel). The title is a portmanteau of the names of two of the constituents of the original thickening and gelling agents: co-precipitated aluminium salts of naphthenic and palmitic acids. Napalm B is the more modern version of napalm (utilizing styrene derivatives) and, although distinctly different in its chemical composition, is often referred to simply as “napalm”.

A team led by chemist Louis Fieser originally developed napalm for the United States Chemical Warfare Service in 1942 in a secret laboratory at Harvard University. Of immediate first interest was its viability as an incendiary device to be used in fire bombing campaigns during World War II and its potential to be coherently projected into a solid stream that would carry for distance (instead of the bloomy fireball of pure gasoline) resulted in widespread adoption in infantry/combat engineer flamethrowers as well.

Napalm burns at the same temperature as gasoline, and for a greater duration, as well as being more easily dispersed and sticking tenaciously to its targets; these traits make it extremely effective (and controversial) in the anti-structure and antipersonnel role. It has been widely used in both the air and ground role, with the largest used to date being via air-dropped bombs in World War II (most notably in the gruesomely effective incendiary attacks on Japanese cities in 1945), and later close air support roles in Korea and Vietnam. Napalm also has fueled most of the flamethrowers (tank, ship and infantry-based) used since World War II, giving them much greater range, and was used in this role as a common (and feared) weapon of urban combat by both the Axis and the Allies in World War II. Multiple nations (including the United States, China, Russia, Iran and North Korea) maintain large stockpiles of napalm-based weapons of various types.

White Phosphorous is a munition which can be used to create smoke screens on battlefields or to mark the locations of targets to air support. However, when deployed directly against human targets it causes severe burning and ignites clothing, flesh, fuel and other substances it comes in contact with.

Russia has stepped up as an international force in the area and say they will attempt to broker peace between Turkey and various Syrian factions. France also announced that it would be partnering closely with Russia on its anti-terrorism efforts – an alliance it previously only held with the United States and other EU nations.