These photographs were taken in Iraq


Professor Siegwart-Horst Gunther (1993 - 1998)   -   [SHG]
Dr. Beatrice Boctor (1998 - 1999)  -   [BB]
Karen Robinson (1999)   -   [KR]

Gunther and Boctor's photographs are copyright free and used with kind permission.

Robinson, a professional photographer, has graciously allowed use of her material on this site.

Those wishing to re-use or reprint her photographs in any other format, site and/or hard copy publications,
please contact her c/o cb@spannerfilms.net

I posted many of these pictures on the previous support site for the album, and asked for assistance in identifying the medical terms for the conditions. I was contacted by a number of people offering descriptions, including an anonymous source whose notes are added here in red font. I was also contacted by a Ms. Dixie Lawrence, who stated that she possessed a BS in biochemistry and an MS in biochemical engineering (genetics). Her notes are added here in orange font. Professor Gunther's classifications, where he specifically gave them, are reproduced in green font. My own initial notes and descirptions, sourced from conversations with the photographers, accurate in some cases but not in others, are reproduced here for the record in white font.

Ms. Lawrence stated in her communications:

"The vast majority of the birth defects your page demonstrates (with the exception if ichyosis which is a recessive, inherited trait) are folate deficiency defects.  All chromosomal abnormalities (trisomy 13 occurs when the patient has 3 copies of the 13th chromosome instead of the normal 2) occur when the egg fails to divide during 2nd phase meosis.  The failure is dependent, in most respects, upon the mother having been deficient in folate or other methyl donors prior to and during the early days of pregnancy.  This is also true of hydrocephalus (which is really a neuro tube defect associated with spina bifida) and of cleft lip and pallet.  Cleft lip can also be associated with trisomy 13 and 18 but the babies you show had no other anomalies so it really just looks like bilateral cleft lip and pallet.  None of the defects are associated with the effects of DU but could be associated with sanctions if sanctions lowered the funds available for prenatal care and for quality food sources."

I asked Ms. Lawrence why it was that, given the worse diet of the Iraqi people in the years before the actual arrival of food under the 'Oil-For-Food' programme in 1997, that such deformities were not more numerous? Why was it that they began to increase in siginifcant numbers from 1997 onwards?  She never replied to this question, though it could simply be co-incidence. She did, however, previously supply the following links, and recommended that readers of this site investigate for themselves:

Once again, it is important to stress that DU is not 'officially' recognised to be the sole contributor, and one must always bear in mind any possible propaganda activities of the Iraqi government in drawing attention to cases that have other, more common, causes. My own opinion is that DU is a catalyst, magnifying the problems brought about by poor nutrition. Though I suspect that these debates have little meaning to the mothers who gave birth to the children below.

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Child with almost total deformity of the face; no recognisable features at all, and what appears to be one eye situated in the middle of the forehead.

Fraser Syndrome - characterized by a lack of an eye opening and abnormalities to the eye tissue. Surgery can be done in order to restore sight in at least some cases. Frequently accompanied by other birth anomalies.

Trisomy 13 with cyclopia


Urethra and part of the gastro-intestinal tract
are on the outside of the body.


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Child with extreme hydrocephalus, and defects of cerebral nerves.

Hydrocephalus and malnutrition


Severe malformation of face, eyes and legs.


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Extreme hydrocephalus; deformity of face, body and ear.

The line running down the right hand side of the head
would appear to show that potentially two heads were forming. This is, however, pure speculation on my part.

Form of neural tube defect associated


Deformity of ear; possible deformation of lower body.


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Huge hole in child's back, which is, I believe, an extreme form of Spina Bifida.

Myelomengiocyle - Spina Bifida, this is a large thoracic / lumbar region lesion


Child appears to have been born without functioning eyes.

I can offer no explanation as to the translucent quality of the skin other than it is possibly a result of flash photography at close range.

Normal baby (the eyes are present) either a victim of saline abortion or a natural premature birth showing some decomposition following death



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Malformation of hands, with almost total merging of all digits.

Unknown deformity, probably recessive


This child is completely covered in a white susbstance of unknown properties. Obvious deformation of face and eyes. Flash photography at close range obscures detail.

Ichthyosis (fish scale skin)


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Severe body deformity, with head that appears to be
formed at 90 degree angle to upper torso.

Prune belly syndrome (more than likely)


Child with extreme hydrocephalus, and defects of cerebral nerves.


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It isn't clear what has happened to this child,
and I have no explanation for the dark nature and condition of the skin.



Child with unknown white substance covering almost the whole body.



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Front view of same child. Severe deformities of mouth and eyes. The welts appear to indicate open wounds, or unformed skin tissue.



Child with severe hydrocephalus, with defects of the cerebral nerves.


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I am informed that this severe cleft palate is an example of one of the most common deformities. Simple surgery is able to recitfy most cases, but Iraqi doctors seldom have access to sufficient tools or facilities.

Cleft Palette is the 4th most common birth defect and is believed to be caused by vitamin deficiency, more specifically a lack of folic acid during pregnancy



Child with deformation of the legs.


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The x-ray of child above reveals what appears to be a complete lack of kneecaps.


Two children with similar deformities of the face.
Professor Gunther refers to this condition as 'Zyklopie.'

Monozygotic twins with bilateral cleft lip and pallet


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Child with unknown defomity of the mouth,
possibly a large tumour grown during foetal stage.

Tumor - non fatal, usually easily removed with surgery


Horrendous deformity of entire body and head.
Note lack of eyes and malformation of the hands and feet.

Either fetal hydrops, [or] saline abortion with decomposition


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Malformation of digits.

Photo courtesy of Chuck Quilty
Voices in the Wilderness - US


This is an example of the rise in spontaneous abortions suffered by Iraqi women. It also appears to show fetal deformation.


gunther23.jpg (33606 bytes)

beatrice13.JPG (51479 bytes)


Extreme hydrocephalus; again, almost as though two heads were being formed.

Hydrocephalus with a cyst



This picture would appear to show an example of a 'Non Viable' child, possible male, with penis and scrotum merged.

'Rocker bottom feet', normal genetalia, webbed fingers, possibly Trisomy 18


beatrice17.JPG (40520 bytes)

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Severe malformation of face. Dr. Gunther refers to this condition as 'Zyklopie.'

Bilateral cleft lip and pallet


The following phographs were sent to me by Professor Gunther from his personal archives.

He states that they are examples of the birth deformities experienced by some US Gulf war veterans.

He provided no accompanying information on names, dates or exact diagnoses of their condition.
However Ms. Lawrence stated of the child on the top right : limb deformity could be caused by many things,
often by drugs ingested by the mother during first few weeks of pregnancy - not drug abuse,
[merely] reaction to certain medications.

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