The United States military used a controversial weapon in Syria in late 2015, according to military officials.
US Central Command spokesperson Major Josh Jacques told Airwars that more than 5,000 armor-piercing 30 mm rounds were fired on vehicles in Syria in November 2015. The rounds contained depleted uranium, something Coalition and US forces said they wouldn’t use in operations against ISIS.
The U.S. military fired hundreds of thousands of rounds of depleted uranium in populated areas in Iraq during the 2003 invasion. The use of the weapons sparked outrage in Iraq, with people in the affected communities claiming the remnants of the weapons caused cancer and birth defects.
“Depleted uranium is left over from the enrichment of uranium 235,” reads the report from Airwars. “It is exceptionally hard, and has been employed by militaries both to penetrate armoured targets and to reinforce potential targets like tanks against enemy fire. Though less radioactive than the original uranium, DU is toxic and is considered by the US Environmental Protection Agency to be a ‘radiation health hazard when inside the body.’”