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article imageSyria: Israel used depleted uranium shells in air strike

By JohnThomas Didymus     May 5, 2013 in World
Damascus - RT is reporting that a senior Syrian official at the Syrian military facility attacked by the Israeli Air Force said Israel used a "new type of weapon" in its last air strike. The official alleged that Israel used depleted uranium shells in the attack.
According to RT, the Syrian source said: "When the explosion happened it felt like an earthquake.Then a giant golden mushroom of fire appeared. This tells us that Israel used depleted uranium shells."
Digital Journal reports that the Syrian state television said a military research center on the outskirts of Damascus was hit in the Israeli airstrike. The YouTube video shows a huge ball of fire generated by the explosion. Damascus residents said the explosion felt like an earthquake. Digital Journal reports that Jean Pierre Dutillon, a media consultant living in Damascus, said the blast "was louder than usual, it's really like one of the biggest explosions we felt and we definitely thought it was something like a munition depot because like we had a lot of secondary explosion, which were also very loud."
According to RT, depleted uranium (DU) is a by-product of the uranium enrichment process. Rense reports depleted uranium (DU) weapons were first used during the first Gulf War in 1991, with the Pentagon estimating between 315 and 350 tons of DU used. In the 2003 invasion of Iraq, US and British troops also used depleted uranium bombs. According to Rense:
DU is used in many forms of ammunition as an armor penetrator because of its extreme weight and density. The uranium used in these missiles and bombs is a by-product of the nuclear enrichment process. Experts say the Department of Energy has 100 million tons of DU and using it in weapons saves the government money on the cost of its disposal.
Rather than disposing of the radioactive waste, it is shaped into penetrator rods... The radioactive waste from the U.S. nuclear weapons industry has, in effect, been forcibly exported and spread in the environments of Iraq, Afghanistan, the former Yugoslavia, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere.
The use of DU in munitions is controversial due to its potential long-term health effects. Experts say depleted uranium is a toxic metal and exposure damages the kidney, brain, liver, heart, and numerous other systems. It is weakly radioactive and has a long radioactive half-life (4.468 billion years for uranium-238, 700 million years for uranium-235). The biological half-life, that is, the average time it takes to eliminate half the amount in the body is about 15 days. The aerosol produced during a DU explosion can contaminate wide areas of the surrounding environment.
RT reports its Syrian source said: "Several civilian factories and buildings were destroyed. The target was just an ordinary weapons warehouse. The bombing is an ultimatum to us – it had no strategic motivation."
The Syrian source reportedly denied claims that the strikes targeted weapons for the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, saying: "There was no valuable equipment at the site. It was all removed after a previous attack on the facility. The military losses from this are negligible."
Digital Journal reports Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad has warned that the Israeli airstrikes are a "declaration of war." He reportedly sent a letter to the United Nations and the UN Security Council stating that the "Israeli aggression" killed and wounded several people and "caused widespread destruction."
Digital Journal also reports that the Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said: "The Israeli enemy exhibited gross aggression against Syria and used missiles to bomb military facilities in a violation of all international laws." He added: "This aggression opens a door to all options."
According to Digital Journal, Israel, anticipating a retaliation, has deployed two Iron Dome missile defense batteries in Safed and another near Haifa.
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