America’s war of aggression in Iraq produced many immediate casualties, but recent reports from the Iraq are citing another, longer term, cost of war. America’s use of depleted uranium shells is causing record numbers of birth defects and cancer in previous combat areas. Doctors are struggling to cope with the outbreak.

The US military’s use of depleted uranium in Iraq has led to a sharp increase in Leukemia and birth defects in the city of Najaf – and panicked residents are fearing for their health. Cancer is now more common than the flu, a local doctor tells RT.

The city of Najaf saw one of the most severe military actions during the 2003 invasion. RT traveled to the area, quickly learning that every residential street in several neighborhoods has seen multiple cases of families whose children are ill, as well as families who have lost children, and families who have many relatives suffering from cancer.

Uranium is radioactive and a known carcinogen, but whether or not the amount present in the American ammunition used during the war is enough to cause the kind of disease present in Iraq today has yet to be proven conclusively. But if reports are correct, it would be quite a coincidence that the areas presenting the increases in birth defects and cancer are also the ones where heavy use of depleted uranium shells took place.

Dr. Sundus Nsaif says the city has seen a “dramatic rise” in cancer and birth defects since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. Nsaif said the alternative location was chosen because there is an active push by the government not to talk about the issue, perhaps in an effort not to embarrass coalition forces… Depleted uranium weapons are known for the ability to penetrate through walls and tanks. One of its most dangerous “side effects” is that when the substance vaporizes, it generates dust inhaled by individuals.

The Pentagon and the UN estimate that US and British forces used 1,100 to 2,200 tons of armor-piercing shells made of depleted uranium during attacks in Iraq in March and April, far more than the [officially] estimated 375 tons used in the 1991 Gulf War, according to a report published in Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 2003.

It would seem the Iraqi people are not quite finished suffering for America’s historic blunder. Those who survived America’s invasion and resulting sectarian war have lived long enough to get cancer or watch their newborn children be crippled from the weaponry used in the war.

The U.S. meanwhile has moved on to thinking of ways to “liberate” other countries.