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15 Apr, 2009 08:59

US forces leave Iraq polluted

The initial reason to invade Iraq was the alleged presence of weapons of mass destruction. Now the US has pledged to withdraw troops, who are accused of using controversial weapons themselves, and no clean-up is planned.

Since coalition forces invaded Iraq, the country has been struggling to overcome ethnic divisions and establish order.

While everyone knows about the violence, the environmental impact of some of the methods used by warring factions is less known. In this area the US is facing serious accusations.

The streets of Iraq where children play have often been left in a mess. Both military and industrial waste litters the country. Sadek Ahmad, an Iraqi research centre head says American troops used illegal weapons during their campaign.

“There are two kinds of pollution: visible and non-visible. The unseen type is caused by the use of chemical weapons and toxic gases,” Ahmad says.

Iraq is now suffering from one of the worst levels of pollution in the world. Environmentalists say it has resulted in the rise of cancer and other serious diseases. An increasing number of children are reportedly born disabled.

“We’ve seen more and more cancer patients treated in hospitals as well as those with neurological disorders. And there are statistical figures to prove this,” neuropathologist Husnin Ali says.