Tuesday Jul 23, 201305:22 AM GMT
Iraqis still suffering from US depleted uranium
Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:59AM
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A US soldier with depleted uranium-tipped shells during the US-led war on Iraq

Iraqi people say the US-led war on their country is not over yet as they are still suffering from the effects of the US military’s use of depleted uranium.

In an exclusive report on Monday, RT detailed the severe effects of the US forces’ use of depleted uranium on Iraqi citizens over a decade after the US invaded the country.

A sharp increase in leukemia and birth defects in the Iraqi city of Najaf has been a direct result of the use of depleted uranium by US-led forces.

In an interview with RT, a local doctor, Sundus Nsaif, said cancer is now more common than the flu in Najaf.

“After the start of the Iraq war, rates of cancer, leukemia and birth defects rose dramatically in Najaf. The areas affected by American attacks saw the biggest increases. We believe it’s because of the' illegal' weapons like depleted uranium that were used by the Americans. When you visit the hospital here you see that cancer is more common than the flu,” Dr. Nsaif said.

Depleted uranium is a chemically toxic metal which is produced as waste by the nuclear power industry.

In 1995, the US, Britain, Israel, and France voted against a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly which urged “a precautionary approach” to using depleted uranium weapons.

The US and its allies invaded Iraq in March 2003 under the pretext that former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, possessed weapons of mass destruction. In October 2004, a CIA report revealed that Saddam Hussein did not possess any weapons of mass destruction at the time of the invasion.

US troops left Iraq at the end of 2011 after almost nine years of occupying the country, though a few hundred US forces are still stationed there.

“The war isn’t over. Yes, the Americans are gone, but we are still suffering from the Consequences,” said an Iraqi woman, Leila Jabar.

Jabar blames radioactive ammunition by US forces for the death of three of her children who were born with congenital deformities.

The US spread in excess of 400 metric tons of depleted uranium across Iraq. A report issued by Dutch peace group IKV Pax Christi earlier this year said, with over 300 sites in Iraq already contaminated by the toxic material, depleted uranium clean-up is estimated to cost the Middle Eastern nation a minimum of $30 million.

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