An official statement by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has alleged Turkey is using banned substances such as phosphorus and napalm in its continued military offensive in northern Syria.
"After 8 days of fierce resistance by our fighters against heavy ground and aerial attacks of Turkey in Serêkaniyê, we suspect that unconventional weapons are used against SDF fighters upon the reports and signs we receive from the besieged town," Mustafa Bali, an official SDF spokesman said.
“The Turkish aggression is using all available weapons against Ras al-Ain,” a Kurdish statement cited by the AFP said. “Faced with the obvious failure of his plan, Erdogan is resorting to weapons that are globally banned such as phosphorus and napalm,” the statement continued.
Now over a week after 'Operation Peace Spring' commenced, which was followed by swift international condemnation, dozens of Syrian civilians have been reported killed with more than 300,000 displaced.
Turkey denied the charges while turning around to blame Syrian Kurdish militias for themselves deploying chemical weapons. Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar on Thursday told reporters, "It is a fact known by everyone that there are no chemical weapons in the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces."
He accused YPG and SDF Kurdish forces of "using the chemical weapons (themselves) in a bid to blame us" — which it should be noted also implies an indirect charge of Washington involvement, given the SDF receives weapons and funding from the Pentagon and US special forces advisers.
And separately presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin told a press conference in Ankara late Wednesday, “Those who are smearing the Operation Peace Spring are those who are frustrated, angry and funny for losing positions in Syria.”
After 8 days of fierce resistance by our fighters against heavy ground and aerial attacks of Turkey in Serêkaniyê, we suspect that unconventional weapons are used against SDF fighters upon the reports and signs we receive from the besieged town. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/Epr1BsDFhC— Mustafa Bali (@mustefabali) October 16, 2019
Official SDF social media channels on Tuesday posted videos and images of badly burned children, offering it as proof of napalm and white phosphorus usage by the invading Turkish forces.
Kurdish officials called on the international community to send forensic teams to the region to investigate the new chemical attack allegations, also citing a broader humanitarian emergency. "The medical facilities in Northeast Syria lack expert teams following withdrawal of NGO’s due to Turkish invasion attacks," spokesman Mustafa Bali said.
White phosphorus has previously been allegedly used by US anti-ISIL coalition forces in eastern Syria. It can cause skin to melt down to the bone, and further is able to stick to clothing and the body, continuing to burn unchecked as more particles are exposed to the air. The chemical substance can by used in shells and grenades, similar to Napalm, and creates spontaneous explosive fire in a broad area.