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What I saw in Iraq with regards to White Phosphorus

The Liberal US Marine, Daily Kos

November 9, 2005

I was with a Marine Corps unit on the outskirts of An Nasiriyah, Iraq in March 2003. We were set up in the city dump (the nastiest place I have EVER slept at. The flies were horrible), right on the river (I cant remember if it was the Tigiris or the Euphrates). Anyway, the huge fight of the war was An Nasiriyah. The Marine Corps scheme of manuever counted on having An Nasiriyah secured so the remainder of the division could push northward. An Nasiriyah was proving very difficult to secure, so that city became the intregal objective for the Marine Corps.

More below the Jump.

Anyway, I recall vividly a incident that took place at our position. A Marine Artillery battery was within 500 meters of our position and they were providing indirect fire support in support of ground operations occuring in and around An Nasiriyah. I recall them shooting at a target in a tree line, across the river, maybe 700-1000 meters to the east of our position. When the rounds were shot out, they seemed to explode over the target area. A dense white cloud rained down on the tree line and you could see some enemy vehicles attempt to flee the area. I knew from watching similar explosions in training exercises that the cloud raining down on the target area was a white phosphorus round. They shot about 5 of them from my recollection.

I recall thinking, "Man, that is some evil stuff there." Knowing what I know about Willy Pete, it would be a terrible way to die. White Phosphorus is supposed to be used to mark targets for aviation flying high over an objective area. And I know for a fact that no fixed-winged aviation was dropping ordnance in that area, it was too close to friendlies. I know this for a FACT. To see what I saw, not 1000 meters from where I was, in retrospect, is really frightening. I remember feeling like the more of them we killed, the quicker we could go home. And I am positive that is how every servicemember in a combat zone feels.

This is what I saw. No lies, no embellishing, just true facts. We did use Willy Pete on enemies (and due to urban operations, most likely on civilians too).

:: Article nr. 17637 sent on 10-nov-2005 03:17 ECT


Link: www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/11/9/201148/192

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