A spokesman for the US Central Command said Wednesday that American warplanes, in November 2015, had fired 30-mm shells containing depleted uranium at ISIS targets in Syria. The attack was contrary to a statement by a US military spokesman four months earlier that the US would not use the dangerous material in Iraq or Syria in any way. Use of the munitions during the first Gulf War led to a sharp rise in severe birth defects as well as deaths from cancer in Iraq. US warplanes also used depleted uranium munitions in the Balkans and the Kosovo war contrary to resolutions by the UN and statements by the American administration. Munitions containing depleted uranium are more effective in penetrating enemy armor but more damaging to the environment.