A “staggering rise” in birth defects among Iraqi children conceived in the aftermath of the war has been linked to military assaults, according to a new study. Reports of increased miscarriages, lead and mercury poisoning, congenital heart problems, brain defects, and malformed limbs appear to be worse in children born in Fallujah, where the U.S. launched two devastating military assaults eight years ago. American forces admitted to using white phosphorous shells during the bombardment, though they denied using depleted uranium, which has been linked to high rates of cancer and birth defects. Similar defects have been found among children born in Basra after British troops invaded.
POST-WAR Muhannad Fala'ah / Getty Images