Evidence of UK forces using White Phosphorus in Afghanistan?


On the Monday 23 February 2009 edition of BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/news/worldtonight/) there was a debate on whether there should be a possible arms embargo on Israel and Palestinian forces.

In the course of the discussion, Colonel Richard Kemp, Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan in 2003. now retired, said the following:

“…when, for example, we [the British armed forces] are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. Of course we have to use aerial weapons like artillery and White Phosphorus, and we do use those weapons, even in areas that do have a certain amount of civilian population…”

Not only does this seem to the first mention of British forces using White Phosphorus in Afghanistan, but by noting the weapon is used "in areas that do have a certain amount of civilian population" Kemp inadvertently raises very important issues of legality.

Ian Sinclair

Leave a comment