Chemical Agents Detected in Gulf War

August 22, 1996
THE DAILY FED

Chemical Agents Detected in Gulf War

Chemical agents were detected in seven different places during the first week of the Persian Gulf War, according to the Pentagon.

There were no U.S. military units stationed where chemicals were detected according to the Aug. 5 report by the Defense Department's Persian Gulf Veterans' Illness Investigation Team.

The chemical agents were detected by Czechoslovakian and French troops, but the United States was "unable to confirm" any evidence to substantiate the findings. The report details seven chemical detection possibilities, found in the northern Saudi Arabian desert.

The credibility of these detections "varies considerably," according to the report published on the Department of Defense's World Wide Web site (http://www.dtic.mil/defenselink/index.html). If chemicals were present, they "dissipated so quickly" that U.S. troops called to confirm the detections found no traces of the agents. Nevertheless, the claims "cannot be discounted," according to the report

Theories about the cause of the detections range from an offensive chemical attack to fallout from bombings of Iraqi facilities. "Another possibility is that a release of undetermined origin may have occurred in the vicinity of the detecting units," the report says. "Given the lack of evidence regarding the source of the agent detected, this question may remain unanswered."

No coalition country has so far substantiated a link between illnesses of Gulf War veterans and their service during Operation Desert Storm.

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