In March / April 2003 as Marines fought north to Baghdad USAF jets killed Iraqi troops with incendiary bombs close to bridges over the Saddam Canal and the Tigris River on the road from Numaniyah . The explosions created massive fireballs. Col. Randolph Alles Commander Marine Air Group 11 based at Miramar Marine Air Station was reported In the San Diego Union-Tribune later to say ;
"We napalmed both those (bridge) approaches, unfortunately, there were people there because you could see them in the (cockpit) video. “, he added with all the bravura of a screen general , "There were Iraqi soldiers there. It's no great way to die,". Maj. Gen. Jim Amos commanded Marine jet and helicopter units involved in the Iraq invasion and leads the Miramar-based 3rd Marine Air Wing who were directly responsible for the incendiary bombing.
Although called “napalm” the military distinguish these Type 44 bombs as incendiaries. Unlike the napalm used in Vietnam which used gasoline and benzene, the Type 44 firebombs made at the Federal Rock Island Arsenal IL. use kerosene-based jet fuel, which has a smaller concentration of benzene than gasoline. The Pentagon says that the national stockpile of napalm canisters, which had been in storage near Camp Pendleton at the Fallbrook Naval Weapons Station, were destroyed in April 2001.
On the first day of the invasion from Kuwait journalists reported the use of napalm at Safwan Hill, much later Marine spokesman Col. Michael Daily acknowledged that firebombs were dropped near Safwan Hill. This was the sensitive spokesman who explained the difference between the two weapons as the modern firebomb is a less harmful mixture than Vietnam War-era napalm.
"This additive has significantly less of an impact on the environment," quoted Col. Michael Daily, in an e-mailed information sheet provided by the Pentagon.
A 1980 UN convention banned the use against civilian targets (but not military) of napalm, largely as a result of press photographs of a fleeing, naked, Vietnamese child. It is mixture of jet fuel and polystyrene that sticks to skin as it burns. The US, which did not sign the 1980 treaty, is one of the few countries that makes use of the weapon.
Now Al Jazeera report that bodies which appear to have been burnt have been found in the ruins of Fallujah. So far there has been no comment from the Pentagon or the White House. On November 27th in the UK Halifax Labour MP Alice Mahon said: "I am calling on Mr Blair to make an emergency statement to the Commons to explain why this is happening. It begs the question: 'Did we know about this hideous weapon's use in Iraq?'"
To date Mr Blair remains silent on the subject of Fallujah. Napalm… the use of Saddam’s General’s to revive the Iraqi Army….. and a great deal else that is happening in Iraq.