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Syria is plagued with radioactive contamination: Dr. Leuren Moret

Damaged buildings in Aleppo, Syria.

American geoscientist and international radiation expert Leuren Moret says the whole country of Syria is plagued with radioactive contamination because the United States not only used depleted uranium weaponry, but provided it to terrorists fighting against the Syrian government.

Dr. Moret made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday, days after the Pentagon admitted that it used depleted uranium (DU) ammunition in Syria, the controversial weaponry that causes serious health problems among the population.

The US military fired thousands of rounds containing mutagenic weapon depleted uranium during strikes against purported Daesh (ISIL) positions in Syria in late 2015, reports said on Tuesday.

When US started using depleted uranium in Syria

A US fighter jet launches from the USS Carl Vinson on March 19, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Dr. Moret said the use of depleted uranium ammunition is “not limited just to attacking Daesh, or ISIL, positions in Syria in late 2015. Actually, the US government, the Pentagon has used depleted uranium in Syria from the very beginning, and that would be after [President Vladimir] Putin announced Russia would be assisting the Syrian government in removing the terrorists from Syria.”

“They used it all over Syria where these battles have been, but they also armed terrorists with depleted uranium weaponry.  The whole country now, where the battles have been whether on battlefields or in urban regions, are all contaminated. And that has to be cleaned up before they rebuild the cities, parts of Damascus, almost all of Aleppo, and villages too,” she added.   

According to experts, the use of depleted uranium is a war crime, a crime against humanity, and an act of genocide, because the civilian population’s exposure to depleted uranium causes genetic damage, birth defects, cancer, immune system damage, and other serious health problems.

‘US first used DU weaponry in Iraq in 1990’

“The DU was used of course in 2003 in the invasion of Iraq but it was introduced in 1990 in the Iraq invasion by President George H. W. Bush. And that’s the first time the US had used that on the battlefield anywhere,” Dr. Moret said.  

“However, [then US secretary of state Henry] Kissinger gave depleted uranium weaponry in 1973, in the Yom Kippur War, to the Israelis to use against the Arabs from Egypt,” she added.

“And I had calls from Israeli women, or American women, living on kibbutzim in Israel at that time – they were American women living in Berkeley, California, where I am, and they said all the women in their families who were living on kibbutzim had breast cancer and asked me if it came from that war, and I said, ‘Yes’,” she stated.  

“So Iraq has been affected since 1990, and they are using it now – the United States’ troops in Iraq are using depleted uranium weapons now.”

‘Increase in conjoined twinning in Iraq’

The parents of four-month-old conjoined twin boys Ziad and Iyad look over them as they sleep at King Abdull-Aziz hospital in Riyadh. (Photo by Reuters)

“The genetic damage to people in Iraq has been very, very extensive. I worked very closely with Iraqi doctors. I have been on tours of Japan and supported them and testified for them at press conferences all over Japan, and in other areas – Germany. We had a World Depleted Uranium Weapons Conference that was fantastic,” Dr. Moret said.

“The health effects are very well-known. I made a map. I collected data from newspapers and news sources on conjoined twinning from around the world but especially from Iraq. And conjoined twinning is when two twins are born but they are attached to each other. This has always been a rare occurrence. But it escalated in the United States during the atmospheric testing of the nuclear bombs,” she noted.

“And I saw a huge increase in conjoined twinning in Iraq, but it was occurring in the cities in Iraq where the largest battles were with the US. Other birth defects and so forth that indicate radiation damage.”

‘Baby boys disappearing in Iraq’

Dr. Moret said that the “the normal ratio is 110 baby boys are born for every 100 female babies.  And in Iraq that ratio has dropped from 110 male babies to the low seventies per one hundred female babies.”

“The US and all of its allies are using depleted uranium weapons in Iraq, but also in Syria from their first entry into the Syrian battlefield. They are absolutely lying about it. They used it and given it to all the terrorists. And they are continually resupplying it to the terrorists,” the expert said.

“Russia had used depleted uranium very, very rarely, and only in the bunker buster bombs that they had to use to destroy underground bunkers and tunnels,” she pointed out.

“US perpetrating genocide by using DU’

Baghdad on fire during "Shock and Awe" US bombing in March 2003.

“The purpose of using depleted uranium, introducing it in the year 1990 to the battlefield, was genocide, and to target not just the country where the war was going on, but also it’s surrounding neighbors,” Dr. Moret noted.  

In 2003, the US military fired hundreds of thousands of rounds in densely populated areas during the invasion of Iraq, causing a sharp rise in congenital birth defects, cancer, and other serious health problems.

The Iraqi government had expressed “its deep concern over the harmful effects” of the controversial material.

A UN report on depleted uranium released in 2014 said weapons containing DU “constitute a danger to human beings and the environment” and called on the United Nations to conduct in-depth studies on their effects. 

According to Iraqi doctors and many international health scientists, the use of DU weapons in Iraq caused the outbreak of diseases that were not previously seen in the country, such as new illnesses in the kidney, lungs, and liver, as well as total immune system collapse.

They also argued that DU contamination was connected to the sharp rise in leukemia, renal, and anemia cases, especially among children, across the Arab country in recent years.

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