Friday, October 31, 2014

More Depleted Uranium For The Middle East

This month, the US has deployed a type of aircraft to the Middle East responsible for more Depleted Uranium (DU) contamination than any other platform. Twelve 'A-10's have arrived in the region along with 300 US airmen.
Whether or not the aircraft will be used in areas under ISIL control has not been confirmed. Master Sgt Hubble of the 122nd Fighter Wing told Al Jazeera that although no explicit order for their use was currently in place, this position "could change at any moment. When that order comes, US crews may load PGU-14 depleted uranium rounds into 30mm Gatling cannons". Hubble continued: "Should the need arise 'to explode something - for example a tank - they will be used."

The decision to position the controversial aircraft in the region comes against a backdrop of consultations at the highest diplomatic levels to remove DU as an international military resource.
The First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has been meeting to discuss a broad range of issues related to international security and peace. Several nations have presented appeals to the UNGA calling for study and mitigation of DU contamination in civilian areas.
DU is classed as a Group 1 Carcinogen by the World Health Organization, and evidence of health damage produced by its use is extensive. It has 40 percent less radioactivity than natural uranium - but the same chemical toxicity.

Jeena Shah at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) told Al Jazeera: "The US has denied a relationship between DU and health problems in civilians and veterans. Studies of UK veterans are highly suggestive of a connection. The US doesn't want studies done."

(etc etc etc - - - continued information here)

(Final paragraph: note the irony)

CCR and Iraq Veterans Against the War have filed a Freedom of Information Act Request in an attempt to learn the locations targeted in Iraq during and after the 1991 and 2003 invasions. The UK and the Netherlands have already revealed targeted locations, as did NATO, following DU use in the Balkans.

Iraqi doctors will be testifying to the damage done by DU before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Washington, DC, in December.

In the meantime, the Obama Administration said on Thursday that it will be spending $1.6m to identify atrocities committed in Iraq by ISIL.

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