War in Iraq Endangers Ecology in Southern Russia

War in Iraq may affect the ecological situation in Russia's southern regions, believe specialists from the Russian ministry of natural resources.

According to the experts, the ecological situation may worsen because air currents are capable of carrying oil combustion products for hundreds of kilometers.

There are more than 1,000 high-flow-rate oil fields in Basrah /southern Iraq/ alone, said the experts. In case there is a fire, large territories will be covered in smoke and soot and contaminated with biohazards.

On the whole, according to specialists from the State Nature Protection Service of the ministry of natural resources, military action in Iraq may have "grave ecological consequences, i.e. fires in the oil fields, terminals, oil storage facilities, oil processing plants and oil pipelines." Military action also endangers the ecological systems of the Persian Gulf: discharge of large amounts of oil may contaminate the coastal strip. Besides, the use of depleted uranium in the military campaign may result in radioactive contamination of water and land surface.