MOSCOW, June 20 (RIA Novosti) – The US and its allies used munitions with depleted uranium (DU) during the conflict in Iraq in 2003, which has resulted in the contamination of more than 300 sites, a recent report released by Dutch NGO PAX said.
"The lack of a clear strategy to deal with the legacy of the use of depleted uranium munitions in Iraq, from either the Coalition Forces, the Coalition Provisional Authority or the Iraqi government, has resulted in the continued exposure of civilians to DU," the report entitled "Laid to Waste" said.
PAX estimates that more than 440,000 kilograms of DU was used during the two Gulf Wars of 1991 and 2003. DU munitions were fired at military armored vehicles, trucks, infantry troops and civilian objects such as buildings in populated areas.
After the conflicts thousands of pieces of destroyed military equipment were left lying around in urban areas and along roads. Most of the abandoned military hardware is concentrated in areas where most battles involving tanks and armored vehicles took place: in Basrah, Najaf, Kerbala, As Samawah, Nasiriyah and Baghdad.
PAX estimates that the cost of cleaning up more than 300 known contaminated sites is between US$30-45 million.
The US and its allies initially invaded Iraq in 2003 and fully pulled out their troops at the end of 2011.