BAGHDAD (Dispatches) – Iraq files a lawsuit against the United States for bombing the Arab country with depleted uranium several times over the course of two decades.
The initiation of the legal proceedings related to the bombing spats that plagued Iraq with rampant and deadly radioactive contamination, al-Maaloumah news website reported.
The lawsuit was lodged by Hatif al-Rikabi, the Iraqi parliament’s legal advisor, with a Swedish court in Stockholm on December 26.
The suit demands compensation for the repercussions of the bombings that targeted the country’s former nuclear installations twice in the 1990s and once in the 2000s, said al-Rikabi, who is also a member of Baghdad’s negotiation team with the United Nations.
He said the weapons used in the assaults included bombs and missiles.
"Hundreds of cancer cases are recorded every month, and the figure is clear evidence of how much damage the US forces have done,” al-Rikabi had earlier said. The official has also called on Iraq’s health authorities to "release facts and figures about casualties caused by U.S. bombing campaigns.”
According to al-Maalomah, the US attacked Iraqis using depleted uranium three times - in 1991, 1999 and 2003. These attacks are said to have affected hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, who have suffered from a heightened incidence of cancers, strokes, kidney, lung and liver diseases, miscarriages, premature births and congenital deformities.
Wide swathes of the country have been contaminated with radioactive debris. At the same time, the agency said, the Iraqi government has failed to clean up the pollution caused by the bombings, or put pressure on the international community to oblige the U.S. and its allies either to engage in a clean-up or provide Iraq with financial compensation to deal with the disaster.
According to Iraqi government estimates, the Middle Eastern nation’s cancer rates rocketed in the wake of the DU attacks, jumping from 40 cases per 100,000 persons in 1991 to 800 per 100,000 in 1995, and 1,600 per 100,000 by 2005.