NATO will discuss chemical warfare as Russia charges phosphorus bombs

The US is looking at how to respond if Russia uses chemical, nuclear or biological weapons in Ukraine because Moscow is accused of using a phosphorus bomb.

What recourse Russia can take in the conflict, which is entering its fifth week, will be discussed on Thursday during a NATO session in Brussels, with US President Joe Biden speaking about the chemical weapons threat posed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. warned.

Russia was accused by Kyiv Deputy Chief of Police Oleksiy Biloshitsky of deploying white phosphorus weapons in the eastern city of Kramatorsk on Monday after a high-stakes meeting.

“The occupants dropped phosphorus bombs on Kramatorsk,” he wrote on Telegram next to a video of the material burning to the ground. which has not been independently verified.

During this, British channel ITV released the footage What it said is phosphorus burning in the dark sky over the northwestern suburbs of Kyiv on Tuesday.

“Late March 22, in the evening, Russian occupiers used banned phosphate weapons on the north-western outskirts of Kyiv,” Irpin Mayor Oleksandr Markushin wrote on his Telegram channel.

“Approximate affected area- Gostomel-Irpin,” he said. “The use of such weapons against civilians by enemy soldiers is a crime against humanity and a violation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.”

The Convention on Conventional Weapons prohibits incendiary weapons, although it does not include white phosphorus.

However, the substance behaves just like an incendiary device and can cause horrific injuries.

According to Human Rights Watch, although it is not considered an incendiary weapon, but rather a smoke generating weapon, it falls into a “crack in the law”. However, in populated areas where they can kill civilians, the use of air-dropped incendiary weapons is prohibited.

Phosphorus burns when exposed to oxygen, producing a thick white smoke and can be dispersed by artillery shells, bombs, rockets or grenades.

Western leaders are concerned that Putin will use chemical weapons because his offensive has suffered several setbacks.

the new York Times reported that Thursday’s NATO session will hear scenarios from a White House team of national security officials known as the “Tiger Team,” who have sketched out possible responses if a Russian attack encroaches on the coalition’s territory.

Biden said the use of such weapons could be “a real threat”, while NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that “any use of chemical weapons would completely change the nature of the conflict,” and as such ” There will be far-reaching consequences.”

Stoltenberg appeared to raise concerns about how NATO should react if chemical or radioactive clouds moved across the border from Ukraine into a coalition member state.

many times reported that the coalition would investigate whether this would be an “attack” on NATO under its charter, which would spark a military response.

newsweek The Russian Defense Ministry has been contacted for comment.

Follow our live blog for updates on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The site of a rocket explosion where used to be a shopping mall on March 23, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Russia has been accused of using phosphorus bombs near the Ukrainian capital, adding that the US is looking into how it will react if Moscow escalates its attacks to include chemical or biological weapons. Will give
Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images

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