Lawmakers Demand Answers on Alleged War Crimes by Turkish-Backed Forces in Syria
12:10, Saturday, 26 October, 2019
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is demanding answers about Turkey’s role in the reported use of munitions loaded with white phosphorus—a chemical that can maim and kill when it comes in contact with human flesh—against civilians in northeastern Syria.Four U.S. senators are pressing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to address reports that Turkish-backed forces have used white phosphorus-loaded munitions in the Turkish offensive into northeastern Syria. The allegations were first reported by Foreign Policy and substantiated by multiple other outlets. Democratic Sens. Chris Van Hollen, Patrick Leahy, and Richard Blumenthal and Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn sent their concerns to Pompeo in a letter dated Friday. The letter, obtained by Foreign Policy, asks for Pompeo to respond by Nov. 1. The use of white phosphorus in military applications is not banned, but its use as an incendiary weapon in civilian areas is prohibited by international law.