Gulf War led to illness among children and elderly, claims Baghdad
The Iraqi government has claimed that the “US-led aggression” against the country during the Gulf War in 1991 has damaged the environment of the country, causing thousands of deaths among children and elderly people, while the mortality rate increases by the day.
It is claimed that the “thousands of tons of laser-guided bombs, fragmentation bombs, cruise missiles, DU weapons with a total explosive power equal to six or seven Hiroshima-nuclear blasts” affected water purification units and sewage treatment plants, among other civilian targets judged as legitimate by Washington.
It is claimed that the testing of DU weapons on Iraq (weapons which are illegal under international law) caused a dramatic increase in cases of leukaemia, congenital deformity and hereditary disease and that soil, water and food supplies were irreparably contaminated. Even after the Gulf War was over, US military aircraft were filmed strafing fields of cereals in Iraq by Italian cameramen.
The Iraqi health ministry has confirmed that tests carried out on areas in the south of the country where DU weaponry was deployed, show that the area was “seriously affected by DU used during the aggression” and went on to claim that “remarkable increases” in malignant disease, deformity and spontaneous abortion were registered in the area.
The report conducted by the Iraqi government authorities also claims that the UN-imposed embargo means that there is a lack of monitoring devices, laboratory equipment and medical supplies to address the nation’s needs. Even chlorine, used to purify water, is banned. The lack of pumps, which together with water supply systems, electricity grids and water storage plants were targeted as “military facilities” during the Gulf War, means that stagnant pools of water and refuse lie infested with insects, causing an increase in cases of cholera, amoebic dysentery, malaria, gastroenteritis and typhoid fever.
The report concludes, “Environmental pollution is the most horrendous weapon of mass destruction that does not affect the present generation only. Its effects can well extend for generations to come”.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969