Wherever depleted uranium has been used dramatic health crises have followed. The most horrendous of such is the birth defect epidemic in parts of Iraq, most notably in the long-suffering city of Falluja.
US military claims its uranium rounds can not possibly be the cause since they are only “slightly” radioactive — conveniently forgetting that even aside from its radioactivity depleted uranium is a toxic heavy metal like mercury or lead, contamination with which likewise causes birth defects.
Moreover when smashing into something having been fired from a 30mm autocannon at five times the speed of sound part of the depleted uranium round is transformed into fine dust which is easily breathed in.
It came as a relief then when US announced in 2015 it has not been and would not ever use uranium rounds in its war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Except we have now learned that was a lie. Just months after the announcement they were back to spreading poison:
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesman Maj. Josh Jacques told Airwars and Foreign Policy that 5,265 armor-piercing 30 mm rounds containing depleted uranium (DU) were shot from Air Force A-10 fixed-wing aircraft on Nov. 16 and Nov. 22, 2015, destroying about 350 vehicles* in the country’s eastern desert.
Of course, given the levels of deception we have witnessed so far there is no reason to believe these were the only two instances. For all we know DU rounds were also fired on many other occasions that we yet have to learn about.
Its use is all the more galling since as Pentagon itself explained conventional rounds work against soft targets just fine and ISIS has no heavy armor to speak off:
Speaking to the blog War is Boring, a Pentagon spokesperson justified this week’s decision by the US not to arm its A-10 gunships flying missions over Iraq and Syria with DU by explaining that: “The [DU] ammunition is developed to destroy tanks on a conventional battlefield. Daesh [Islamic State] does not possess large numbers of tanks.”
Now on top of all of this consider that nobody has invited Americans to run target practices against ISIS in Syria in the first place. They have inserted themselves in the conflict against the express wishes of Syria, violate its sovereignty and poison its land as they go about it, even though there is no tactical need for it whatsoever.
Imagine a reverse situation where Syrians were taking advantage of some inter-American conflict to pollute US lands!