The US military has admitted that it used depleted uranium (DU) ammunition in Syria, the controversial weaponry that causes serious health problems among the population.
The military fired thousands of rounds containing mutagenic weapon depleted uranium during strikes against purported Daesh (ISIL) positions in Syria in late 2015, reports said on Tuesday.
According to weapons experts, the use of depleted uranium is a war crime, a crime against humanity, and an act of genocide, because the civilian population’s exposure to depleted uranium causes genetic damage, birth defects, cancer, immune system damage, and other serious health problems.
“I can confirm the use of depleted uranium,” US Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesman Maj. Josh Jacques said. “The combination of Armored Piercing Incendiary (DU) rounds mixed with High Explosive Incendiary rounds was used to ensure a higher probability of destruction of the truck fleet ISIS [Daesh] was using to transport its illicit oil.”
Jacques told Airwars and Foreign Policy magazine that a total of 5,265 armor-piercing 30mm rounds containing depleted uranium were fired on November 16 and November 22, 2015, destroying about 250 vehicles.
On November 16, at least 1,490 shells out of a total of 1,790 rounds fired contained depleted uranium, and on November 22, some 3,775 shells out of 4,530 had the substance.
This is while the US military had vowed not to use depleted uranium weapons on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria.
John Moore, the spokesman of the US-led coalition claimed to be fighting against Daesh, said in March 2015, “US and coalition aircraft have not been and will not be using depleted uranium munitions in Iraq or Syria during Operation Inherent Resolve.”
Later that month, the Pentagon said that the controversial weaponry had not and would not be used against Daesh because the terrorist group did not possess the tanks the weapons have been designed to penetrate.