WHO investigating alleged use of phosphorus in Syria

GENEVA

World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday they have not received any concrete evidence to support claims that Turkey used white phosphorus bombs in its anti-terror operation in Syria.

Speaking at a news briefing at the UN Office at Geneva, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said they are closely monitoring the situation and trying to get as many reports as possible to get an analysis and evaluation of what is going on in the ground.

“What we have seen so far from all the reports that there has been no increase of burns as compared to other times on the ground,” he said.

White phosphorus bombs burn deep into the tissue and may result in death. The UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons prohibits its use in warfare.

Some Western news outlets have shared photos of people with burns and claimed that Turkish army is using white phosphorus bombs in northeastern Syria. Turkey has rejected the claims.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG/PKK.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

* Writing by Fatih Hafiz Mehmet in Ankara

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