According to recent footage, Azerbaijan is reportedly using white phosophorus to set forests ablaze in Artsakh.
Fires were spotted near Shushi, Karmir Shuka, and Mataghis, reports Razm.Info.
White phosphorus munitions can be used on battlefields to make smoke screens, generate illumination, mark targets or burn bunkers and buildings.
Because it has legal uses, white phosphorus is not banned as a chemical weapon under international conventions. But some U.S. military training manuals say its use against people is banned.
It is a colorless or yellowish translucent wax-like substance that smells a bit like garlic and ignites on contact with oxygen. Its fire is difficult to extinguish, and it sticks to flesh, making its burns more severe. “Infection is common and the body’s absorption of the chemical can cause serious damage to internal organs, as well as death,” Human Rights Watch says.
Under international law, white phosphorus is considered an incendiary weapon, defined by Protocol III of the Convention on the Prohibition of Use of Certain Conventional Weapons as “any weapon or munition which is primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injury to persons through the action of flame, heat or combination thereof, produced by a chemical reaction of a substance delivered on the target” writes Reuters.
The protocol prohibits using incendiary weapons against military targets located among civilians, although the United States has not signed it and is not bound by it. According to Human Rights Watch, “customary laws of war also prohibit the anti-personnel use of incendiary weapons so long as weapons less likely to cause unnecessary suffering are available.”
Per Razm.Info & ASB News