Iraq's environment minister blamed Monday the use of depleted uranium weapons by U.S. forces during the 2003 Operation Shock and Awe for the current surge in cancer cases across the country.0724 08
As a result of "at least 350 sites in Iraq being contaminated during bombing" with depleted uranium (DU) weapons, Nermin Othman said, the nation is facing about 140,000 cases of cancer, with 7,000 to 8,000 new ones registered each year.
Speaking at a ministerial meeting of the Arab League, she also complained that many chemical plants and oil facilities had been destroyed during the two military campaigns since the 1990s, but the ecological consequences remain unclear.
"Our ministry is fledgling, and we need international support; notably, we need laboratories to better monitor air and water contamination," she said.
There were a number of cases of unusual symptoms among American troops at the start of the war as well. They were a big story when it first came out because the propagandists at the White House suggested it might be the result of exposure of the troops to chemical weapons. Of course that wasn't the case, but no explanation was ever given...
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