Jim Brown, a mechanic in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division at the time, told Italian state news channel RaiNews24 that Washington dropped a nuclear bomb in a deserted area outside the city of Basra near the Iranian border in 1991.
The bombing, which took place on the last day of the war in Iraq on February 27th, caused an explosion equal to a five-kiloton blast.
The allegations draw parallels with the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, which created a blast equivalent to about 13 kilotons of TNT.
According to a number of US military heavyweights, the devastating attack on Japan was not necessary as the country had already been seeking a way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face’.
“The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender,” said William D. Leahy, a former admiral and chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Italian station later launched its own inquiry into the claims and found that according to online archives of the UK-based International Seismological Center a seismic event took place on the aforementioned day consistent with a five-kiloton blast.
RaiNews24 is to air a 30-minute current affairs report on the issue on Thursday which will include an interview with Jawad al-Ali an Iraqi doctor who says the number of tumors in Basra increased from 32 in 1989 to 600 in 2002.
According to the station, the US State Department rejected Brown’s claims, saying that only ‘conventional’ weapons were used in the first Persian Gulf War.
The first Persian Gulf War began five months after the then Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, attacked Kuwait on August 2, 1990. US-led coalition forces launched massive air strikes on Iraqi military bases and its civil infrastructure.
Some 30 percent of the 700,000 US servicemen and women in the first Persian Gulf War have reported signs of an illness known as the Gulf War Syndrome (GWS), typified by symptoms including immune system disorders and birth defects.
After 10 years of research, no evidence has been found which establishes any specific cause for the range of the health problems affecting Persian Gulf War vets.