The Islamic State’s latest issue of the magazine Rumiyah includes instructions to fighters on how to dodge white phosphorus reportedly used by U.S. and Russian forces.
In a one-page article featured in Rumiyah, authors for the magazine accused the U.S. and Russia of deploying white phosphorus against ISIS troops and further advised militants to take various safety measures to avoid the worst effects of the incendiary weapon.
According to the magazine, white phosphorus is a “burning, chemical weapon used by armies, specifically in urban warfare. The Russian and American Crusaders are now using it continuously in their war against soldiers of the Islamic State.”
To avoid the debilitating effects of the chemical element, the magazine advises ISIS militants to use gas masks or pieces of cloth soaked in water and also to cover up all parts of the body, so that the white phosphorus does not make any skin contact.
If white phosphorus does make skin contact, it can burn through to bone, which is why the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons bans the use of the chemical against enemy combatants in civilian areas.
Human Rights Watch accused the U.S. in June of using white phosphorus in Raqqa and Mosul but added it could not determine if any civilians had been injured as a result.
“No matter how white phosphorus is used, it poses a high risk of horrific and long-lasting harm in crowded cities like Raqqa and Mosul and any other areas with concentrations of civilians,” Human Rights Watch Arms Director Steve Goose said.
Back in June, a U.S. official told The New York Times that American troops have access to white phosphorus. However, the official added that the chemical was not being employed against personnel.
At least one member of the U.S.-led coalition, New Zealand, has confirmed the use of the chemical.
“We have utilized white phosphorus to screen areas within west Mosul to get civilians out safely,” New Zealand Brig. Gen. Hugh McAslan told NPR in June.
The U.S.-led coalition has made major strides against ISIS forces in Raqqa, the terror group’s capital in Syria, but progress has been slow and painful.
Another article in the latest issue of Rumiyah titled “It Will Be A Fire That Burns: The Cross And Its People In Raqqah” attempts to boost the morale of ISIS militants by conceding defeat in Mosul but promising major bloodshed in Raqqa.
“[T]he Battle of Raqqah will be nothing but a loss and source of regret for the murtaddin and their supporters, for the kuffar will not advance one handbreadth in the land of Islam until their mourners wail over blood that was spilled as a sacrifice for the Crusaders, just as the blood of the Rafidah was spilled in Mosul, and not a single home will be void of the wailing of their mourners, with the permission of Allah,” the magazine states.
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