Study: Sarin Gas Released in 1991 May Be Affecting Gulf War Veterans

(Washington) a�� A study released this month shows bombings of Iraqi munitions factories in January 1991 released a plume of sarin gas that traveled more than 300 miles to affect American troops in Saudi Arabia, although military officials claimed at the time that chemical alarms triggered by th gas were false.

USA Today reported this month that the January 18, 1991 bombings of the weapons plants blew a plume of sarin gas high above a layer of cold, still air and into a swift wind stream that carried the gas to Saudi Arabia, according to a study conducted by researchers Robert Haley and James Tuite and published in the journal “Neuroepidemiology”. The report indicated the gas set off repeated chemical weapons alarms at troop points in Saudi Arabia, but commanders said they were false alarms, because if the troops had been hit with sarin gas, there would have been casualties. There were no casualties, although U. S., Czech and French systems all detected traces of sarin and mustard gas.

The gas plumes, the researchers said, can be blamed for symptoms of Gulf War illness, the mysterious ailment that has affected more than 250,000 veterans of the war.