Newly declassified data reveals insurgent use of white phosphorus
Written by Bagram Media Center   
Monday, 11 May 2009

BAGRAM, Afghanistan (May 11, 2009) – Today, CJTF-101 has declassified a report of 38 events in which insurgents have used or  stockpiled white phosphorus munitions in the Regional Command-East area of operations. 

The declassification and release are in response to claims that insurgents do not use, nor have access to, white phosphorus.

The data, obtained from incident reporting from February 2003 through the present, show that insurgents have stockpiled and used white phosphorus against personnel in both indirect fire attacks as well as Improvised Explosive Devices.

ISAF and Coalition forces use white phosphorus in compliance with rules of engagement and international law.

White phosphorus is employed for obscuration, marking targets, illumination, as well as destruction of unoccupied bunkers, buildings and weapons systems, and the destruction of otherwise flammable materials such as ammo and petroleum products.

It is used as a smoke-producing agent common to the arsenals of many nations, and is classified as conventional ordnance.  It is not designed for use against personnel and is neither an incendiary weapon nor a chemical weapon.