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Environmental Damages

Environmental Damages



The Iraqi population and environment have suffered a great deal of damage due to the continuous state of wars and economical sanctions since 1980 to this day. During these destructive war operations, ...

The Iraqi population and environment have suffered a great deal of damage due to the continuous state of wars and economical sanctions since 1980 to this day. During these destructive war operations, the USA administration and the Pentagon decided to make the Iraqi people and Iraq’s environment a Guinea Pig laboratory for DoD testing of all types of DU radioactive, thermaboric, chemical, robust earth penetrators, microwave, and other types of weapons. They also decided to distribute all the 750,000 tons of radioactive waste from their backyard to certain parts of the world- beginning from Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, the Balkans and on to the list of similar countries.



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    Environmental Damages Environmental Damages Presentation Transcript

    • Environmental Damages of Military Operations During the Invasion of Iraq (IIMO) (2003 – 2005) Dr. Souad N. Al -Azzawi Assistant Professor / Environmental Eng. IRAQ
    • Iraqs Invasion Millitary Combat Operations and Weapons Tremendous types and generations of deadly military weapons have been used during the invasion of Iraq (March 19 – April 21) some of which are shown [2]
    • Munitions Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB) Stinger anti-aircraft missile TOW anti-armor missile Hellfire air-to-surface missile MOAB GBU 12 AGM 84D MK-82 AGM 65 Tomahawk SCUD C AGM 154A AGM 88 JDAM air-to-surface bomb JSOW air-to-surface bomb AIM-120 air-to-air missile HARM anti-radar missile Maverick air-to-surface missile Tomahawk / AGM, cruise missile Thermobonic weapon MK 84/ 2000 lb bomb MK 82/ 500 lb bomb Daisy Cutter 15,000 lb bomb GBU – 28/27 Bunker Buster GBU laser-guided bombs
    • Ground Weapons - M270 multiple launch rocket system - A590 Brave heart - SA-80 rifle - Scimitar reconnaissance vehicle - Saxon Armored personnel carrier - M109A6 Paladin Howitzer - Humvee - M6 Bradley Linebacker - M2A3 Bradley fighting vehicle - M1A1 Abrams battle tank - Up-armored Humvee - Land rover light truck - Sabre reconnaissance - Striker anti-armor vehicle - Warrior combat vehicle - Challenger II battle tank - US infantry weapons - M88A2 Hercules Recovery - Light armored vehicle - Avenger Humvee - Patriot missile system
      • Also the following weapons have been used [1], [6], [7], [8], [10], [11], [13], [14]
      • Napalm bombs
      • Cluster bombs (BLU-97 A/B) and (RBL 755), (CBU- 105), and cluster munitions and MLRS
      • Chemical agents (like in Fallujah, Al-Dor, Ballad, Tikrete, etc.)
      • DU weapons (including in Bunker Busters and Tomahawk missiles).
    • Reminder: First generation of Bunker Busters (GBU-27) were also tested for the first time in Iraq on February 13 to destroy Al-Amriyah Shelter in Baghdad. It has been proven successful with 2000 lb of explosives incinerating 408 women and children sleeping the shelter.
    • 1- Air Pollution Major air pollution sources resulting from IIMO are: 1- Toxic hydrocarbon (HC) soot and fumes from the burning of thousands of barrels of oil from wells or oil pits surrounding Baghdad and other cities. Smoke and soot from oil burning contains toxic and carcinogens [21] Substances like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs, dioxins, furans, mercury, sulfur.
    • Figure (a ): shows these HC plumes and Table 2 shows pollutants loads from burning different fuel types.
    • Figure ( b): shows these HC plumes and Table 2 shows pollutants loads from burning different fuel types.
    • Table 2: Pollutants Loads Generated from Burning of Hydrocarbons Fuels 0.25 0.4 2.3 17.00 3.0 Kerosene 43.5 2.6 11.00 19.00 2.4 Gas Oil 377.0 14.5 10.3 0.54 2.0 Gasoline CO HC NOx SO 2 Suspended Particles Fuel Type Kg Pollutants / Tone of Burned Fuel
    • 2- Explosions plumes from conventional weapons (NOx, SOx, COx, etc.) 3- Thermal and heat pollution as a result of using Napalm and Thermaboric Bunker Buster bombs. 4- Noise Pollution during air raids and what was known as “Shock and Awe” where noise intensity exceeded 130 dB or close to the threshold of pain to human beings [23].
    • 5- Increase of TSS (Total Suspended Solids) in air due to tanks and heavy artilleries traffic and deep into earth bombardment using the Bunker Buster bombs and other heavy missiles. 6- Increase the number or frequency of sand and dust storms compared to the previous years due to the destruction of soil molecular structure and the damage to vegetation cover. Table ( 3 ) shows the frequency and consternations of total suspended particles in selected years in Iraq .
    • Table (3): Frequency & concentrations of (TSS) in selected years, in Iraq [24], [25]. 5 * 2003 8800 – 139 3 1991 580 – 167 -- 1990 461 – 113 -- 1988 1211 – 213 1 1986 950 – 319 2 1985 Highest and Lowest Conc. Of TSS (µgm/m³) Storms Frequency Year
    • 8- Complex plumes of adsorbed (DU) oxides on fine suspended dust (clay particles of <5 microns) with hydrocarbonic soot and smoke. 7- Ionized radiation (α, β, δ) as a result of using more than (1100 – 2200) tons of Depleted Uranium weaponry.
    • Surface and groundwater in Iraq represented by Tigris and Euphrates rivers, their tributaries, storage lakes, marshes and shallow ground water aquifers connected to these water courses. Heavy bombardment of understorage tanks and infrastructures caused a great deal of seepage of hazardous materials, such as: 2- Water Pollution
      • Chemicals , hydrocarbons and sewage water to nearby water courses or to groundwater then to surface water.
      • Polluted surface runoff after every rainstorm adds dissolved air pollutants to soil or surface water.
    • 3. Increase of waterborne diseases like cholera , typhoid , infectious hepatitis , malaria , and dysentery especially after the degradation of sanitary conditions due to lack of chemicals and the looting of major mechanical and electrical parts of the water purification and sewage treatment plants in Baghdad and other cities.
    • WHO, UNEP, Oxfam, Voices in the Wilderness groups wrote about the deterioration of sanitation and the outbreak of some serious dangerous diseases like ( leishmaniasis ) which leads to disfigurement of the face and the hands.
      • The continuous and heavy bombardment for one month caused tremendous damage to soil structure. Soil contamination and degradation by:
      • Spilled chemicals and oils. About (217) attacks on oil pipes [25] & refinaries resulted in spillage of thousands of barrels of oil which seeps to surface water, soil, and groundwater.
      3- Soil & Land Degradation:
    • 3. Heavy artilleries and tanks and armored vehicles traffic. 4. Bulldozing huge areas from trees and date palms trees by American troops as a collective punishment for resisting the occupation [24 ]. 2. Sewage with high TDS and biological oxygen demand (BOD).
    • All of the above reasons caused degradation in land fertility capability to support natural or cultivated vegetation cover. As a result there was a reduction in vegetation cover in 2005 by ( 47 ) % of the area before the invasion as shown in the Landsat images of Baghdad in these two periods.
    • As a consequence endangered Iraqi desert species like Asiatic jackal, wolf, fox, gazelle and falcons disappeared from the few areas sheltering them on the edges of urban areas.
    • Baghdad International Airport Highway in 2002, more than 10 km long and about 100 m width was highly vegetated with palm trees and eucalyptus. Enhanced satellite image of 2002
    • The filled colored area were previously vegetated as shown in the previous image. The estimated bulldozered area is about 1 million (sq.m.)
    • Euphrates River Al- Rammadi City
    • Radiological Pollution Associated with the IIMO: Since 1991 Iraq has been subjected to radiological pollution as a result of using Depleted Uranium Weapons by USA and Allies in the Gulf War I. 4- Radiological Pollution
    • This contamination caused an increase in cancer incident rates and congenital malformations to six times more than prior to the war in southern Iraq where more than 320 tons of DU munitions have been fired in areas west of Al- Basrah City. Other areas in Iraq proven to be contaminated (Table 4) but with a lesser degree of contamination.
    • During IIMO in 2003 DU munitions were also used directly or indirectly through new generations of weapons with an extraordinary number of penetrating capabilities like Cruise Missiles and the Bunker Buster Bombs. Dr. Dai Williams listed these suspected weapons in Table (5).
    • Using depleted or non-depleted uranium weapons this time or heavily populated areas like Baghdad center. To assess the impact of these radiological and toxic weapons on the population in the area we need to know the exact amount of depleted uranium used.
    • Table ( 4 ): Measured DU Contamination Areas in Iraq During and Post First Gulf War 1991 Mosul City and Ninevah Governorate Exposure, soil, water, sediment 2000 Al-Azzawi, S.N. and Nashwan Shawkat North of Al-Basrah waterways and Shatt Al-Arab Water and river sediments 2000 Al-Azzawi, S.N. and Aref, A. Al-Basrah and Al-Muthana Governorates Exposure, activity measurements in soil 2000 Maarouf, B.A. Al-Muthana, Al-Basrah, Thee- Qar Governorates (Alpha) activity in soil samples 2000 Tawfiq, N.F. et al. Al-Muthana and Thee- Qar Governorates Exposure, soil, water, plants and animal tissues 1996 Khalil, M.A. and Fethi, F.M. Safwan, Jabal Sanam, Al-Zubair, South and North Rumaila Oil Fields (south of Iraq) Exposure, soil, water, vegetation cover and animal tissues 1996 Al-Azzawi, S.N. et al. Artawee North and South Rumaila Oil Fields, Grange (south of Iraq) Exposure, soil sampling to define (U-238, Th-234, Ra-226) increase radioactivity 1993 Maarouf, B.A. et al. Areas Measurements Year Authors
    • Table (4)….CONT. Areas Measurements Year Authors Al-Basrah, Safwan, S. Rummailah, N. Rummailah Oil Fields U-235/U-238 in soil samples 2001 Kinani, A.T. et al. East, central and west areas of Al-Basrah Soil sampling 2001 Butrus, S.M. et al. Al-Basrah, Al-Suweirah and other locations U-238 concentration in Tigris and Euphrates Rivers 2000 Tawfiq, N.F. et al. Baghdad City Municipality Radioisotopes in drinking water 2001 Elias, M.M. et al. Safwan City, Al-Zubair, Jabal Sanam, Northern and Southern Rumaila Oil Fields, Al-Basrah City Exposure, soil 2000 Al-Azzawi, S.N. and Hassan, A. Mosul City and Ninevah Governorate Exposure, soil, water, sediment 2000 Al-Azzawi, S.N. and Nashwan Shawkat
    • DU in Cruise Missiles Post the first test of AGM 154JSOW Cruise Missiles in the No-Fly Zone in 1999 [ 20 ], a comprehensive radiological detection, sampling and testing program has been conducted by the Environmental Engineering Department in Baghdad University in the following areas [28]. DU in Cruise Missiles
    • Table (6): Number and Types of Sampling Programs 4 81 110 Total 1 24 24 Ninevah Governorate 3 57 86 Mosul City Center No. of Water Samples No. of Soil Samples No. of Exposure Meas. Area
    • Location of the study area Syria Iran Saudi Arabia Jordan Turkey Kuawit
    • Figure Shows studied area locations and distributions of sampling problems. Notice the three locations destroyed by Tomahawk Cruise Missile, in the eastern bank of the Tigris river in Mosul.
      • Extensive studies of the following were done before the sampling program:
      • Population distribution
      • Climatological conditions (rainfall, temp. prevailing winds, etc.)
      • Surface geographical features
      • Hydrology of the area
      • Soil conditions
      • Geology of the area
      • Previous contamination from the Chernobyl accident.
    • Table (7): Average Exposure Measurements < 7.0 10.11 Ninevah Governorate < 7.0 11.38 Mosul City Center Natural Background Level Aver. Exposure µR/hr Area
    • Table (8): Soil Sample Average Activity Measurements < 60 75.1 Ninevah Governorate < 60 95.4 Mosul City Center Natural Background Soil Activity Meas. (Bq/Kg) [ ] Aver. Y Activity in soil Measurement (Bq/Kg) Area
      • All higher measurements are close or in the windward direction of the three destroyed targets by the (AGM 154 AJSOW) Cruise Missiles.
      • Important conclusion of that study:
      • Cruise missiles used to destroy these three targets contain uranium or depleted uranium metal.
      • Considering this conclusion, the amount of DU from (800 – 1200) [3] Tomahawk Cruise Missiles, and from the Bunker Buster Bombs used from 2003 – 2005 are way larger than the released figures by the IIMO leaders or even estimated by the other concerned organizations or groups (1100 – 2100) tons.
    • VII. Other Radiological Contaminations: Other Radiological Contaminations: In an attempt to eliminate the evidences of DU contamination resulting from 1991 or IIMO in 2003 the occupying forces allowed the looters to sabotage the Tuwaitha Nuclear Complex south of Baghdad [21] 1. Al-Tuwaitha Nuclear Complex Disaster
    • About 600 tons of natural uranium and Cobalt-60 in the complex contained in sealed, isolated, fenced area under the inspection and monitoring of IAEA were all looted. Storage of the two Tamouz nuclear reactors highly contaminated parts, instruments, motors, pipes, tools, etc. on the same site were also looted. In addition to about 500 barrels of radioactive waste.
    • The looters knew nothing about the health hazards of radioactive materials, spilled the uranium and the radioactive waste, and the cobalt 60 on grounds and some in the nearby Tigris river segment close to the complex. They wanted to use the nice colored standard radioactive waste barrels to keep food and water in their houses. Green Peace radioactivity measurements in some of the Tuwaitha villages houses reached (1300 – 10,000) times the natural background levels [21]
    • Al Mosul Uranium Extraction Site (Al Jazeera) Site Where highly contaminated instruments, tools, machines, and waste ponds are located and monitored by the IAEA and all inspection teams during the nineties. The looters took the contaminated instruments and destroyed the radioactive waste ponds to take the reinforcement of the concrete resulting in serious groundwater contamination surrounding the area has occurred. The whole area needs an emergency plan to define the heavily polluted spots and act accordingly. 2. Al Mosul Uranium Extraction Site (Al Jazeera) Site
      • IIMO Iraq Invasion Military Operations from 1991/2003 to this day impose catastrophic environmental problems under the sight of the international community, the United Nations, WHO, UNEP, UNDP and all other international organizations.
      • Insisting of adding huge extra radioactive DU contaminants to what is already existing from 1991 to prove that a genocide is gradually being implemented not only against the Iraqi population, but to all natural ecosystems in the region.
      VIII. Concluding Remarks:
      • An outbreak of cancer cases, miscarriages, fertility problems and congenital malformations have already begun in Baghdad, Rumadi, Balad, Tikrit, and Mosul in addition to what has been going on in the southern cities since 1991.
      • Chemical, biological and radiological pollution is causing an increased human health degradation and suffering hospitals are not allowed to release any information, photos, or records.
      • International organizations and groups should conduct an emergency comprehensive radiological survey and risk assessment to define hazardous high radioactivity areas before it is too late.
      • Universities and research centers and scientific communities are forbidden from touching the issue of Depleted Uranium or even conduction any type of risk assessments related to the war and occupation military processes.
    • The risk model should include the combined effect of hydrocarbons, soot, dust and DU oxide plumes during first three weeks of the IIMO.
    • To all the groups, activists, countries and people who stood firm against the war in Iraq and other parts of the world. Acknowledgements:
    • To all the scientists who have been detained or killed by occupation forces because they revealed the truth about the dangers of DU weapons in Iraq in 1991.
    • To Dr. Alim Yacoub and Dr. Huda Ammash. To all of you honest, brave women and men who committed their lives and continue the struggle against all kinds of atrocities in the world. To all of you I present my appreciation, deepest respect and love.
    • Thank you...