Andra Jackson / The Age – 2006-05-23 08:18:53
AUSTRALIA (May 23, 2006) — Evidence to support controversial claims that napalm has been used by US forces in Iraq has been brought to Australia by an Iraqi doctor.
Dr Salam Ismael, of the Baghdad-based group Doctors for Iraq, said the evidence pointed to the use of napalm on civilians during the second siege of Fallujah in November 2004.
It is contained in film and photographs that doctors took of bodies they collected when they were finally allowed to enter the city after being barred for three days of the military operation.
“We said that napalm had been used, because napalm is a bomb which is a fuel bomb that burns only on the exposed part of the body, so that the clothes will not be affected,” Dr Ismael said from Perth at the start of a speaking tour.
Doctors For Iraq, an independent group founded in 2003, is calling for an international investigation that would allow the bodies to be exhumed for autopsies “because we want to know the truth of what happened”.
Dr Ismael said the napalm was a modification from the 1990s of the wind-driven napalm chemical bombs used by the US in Vietnam in the 1960s.
The US Government admits using white phosphorus in Iraq but denies using napalm.
Dr Ismael said the pattern of burns on bodies collected in Fallujah suggested otherwise.
Asked to respond to the napalm allegations, a Pentagon spokesman said only that the US did not target civilians. It was up to the Iraqi Government to decide if international investigators should be allowed into Fallujah.
Dr Ismael will speak at a Unity for Peace public meeting at RMIT on Thursday night and at Melbourne University on Friday.
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