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IPFS News Link • WAR: About that War

Cancers, Strokes, Birth Deformities: Iraq Reportedly Plans to Sue US Over Depleted Uranium Use

•, By Ilya Tsukanov

According to available estimates, the US contaminated Iraq with at least 2,320 tonnes of the highly toxic substance, with DU affecting both American servicemen and Iraq's civilian population.

Baghdad will be filing a case against the United States with European courts over Washington's use of DU weapons, Iraq's al-Maalomah News Agency has reported, citing Hatif al-Rikabi, an advisor to the Iraqi parliament's foreign affairs committee.

Speaking to the news agency on Sunday, al-Rikabi indicated that he would be filing suits in courts in Sweden and Germany over alleged major US crimes, including the use of depleted uranium munitions.

"Hundreds of cancer cases are recorded every month, and the figure is clear evidence for the extent of the damage that US forces have committed," al-Rikabi was quoted as saying. The official also called on Iraq's health authorities to "release facts and figures about casualties caused by US bombing campaigns."

The parliamentary advisor expressed hopes that the lawsuits would help "ensure international accountability" for the US without any further delays.

According to al-Maalomah, the US attacked Iraqis using depleted uranium on three occasions -in 1991, 1999 and 2003. These attacks are said to have affected hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, who have suffered from a heightened incidence of cancers, strokes, kidney, lung and liver diseases, miscarriages, premature births and congenital deformities. Wide swathes of the country have been contaminated with radioactive debris. At the same time, the agency said, the Iraqi government has failed to clean up the pollution caused by the bombings, or put pressure on the international community to oblige the US and its allies to either engage in cleanup or provide Iraq with financial compensation to deal with the disaster.

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