Despite previous denials from the Pentagon, the US military are now admitting that napalm, or a very similar chemical weapon, was used by their forces during the recent invasion of Iraq, despite a United Nations convention banning its use.Now reports are coming from members of Red Cross International who have broken the prohibition of speaking out about what they see in the USA-run detention camp of Gulag – Camp Cropper, on the outskirts of Baghdad International Airport. They have told Amnesty International about the shocking conditions in which 3000 Iraqi prisoners, most of whom have not even been charged, are held.
On March 22, 2003, CNN embedded journalist Savidge described his day:
It is now estimated the hill was hit so badly by missiles, artillery and by the Air Force, that they shaved a couple of feet off it. And anything that was up there that was left after all the explosions was then hit with napalm. And that pretty much put an end to any Iraqi operations up on that hill.
This statement had been checked and acknowledged by the Pentagon. When some of the alternative media picked up the fact that napalm had been used which was only casually mentioned in the above report, the Pentagon was quick to deny having used napalm in the Iraq invasion in an article in the New York Times, and in other reports, such as this one from The Age in Australia. In fact, US Navy sources denied even possessing any Napalm after the last canister was destroyed in April 2001.
However, quoted today in the Sydney Morning Herald, Colonel Mike Daily of the US Marine Corps said:
I can confirm that Mark-77 firebombs were used in that general area.
While there may be technical differences between the Napalm-B used in the Vietnam war and the chemical in the Mark-77, the effects are very similar. Both consist of inflammable fuel thickened into a gel; the main difference is simply the thickening agent used.
The German TV program Monitor got a different response when they inquired about the use of napalm on Iraqis. In the report, you can hear one US soldier say:
We only used 30 canisters [of Napalm] in 30 days of war.
The use of napalm was banned by a United Nations convention in 1980 although, as with many such international agreements, the US refused to sign.