Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gulf War Syndrome Not from Chemicals, Analyst Says

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gulf War Syndrome Not from Chemicals, Analyst Says

Article excerpt

U.S. troops were not subjected to chemical or biological attacks during the Persian Gulf War but might have been if they had advanced on Baghdad, a military intelligence official says.

Dennis Ross, an analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency, told scientists last week that they should look elsewhere for more likely sources of Gulf War veterans' ailments.

"We feel strongly these people are definitely sick and need to be taken care of," Ross said. "What you can do is rule out certain things, and I think you can rule out chemical and biological agents as a cause of that."

Ross acknowledged that the Iraqis possessed chemical and biological weapons and that exposures to coalition forces had been reported but insisted there was little, if any, confirmed evidence that poison weaponry was used.

He said that news reports that Czech forces had detected chemical arms were sensationalized and that it was highly improbable that troops were exposed to fallout from bombing raids on Iraqi weapons facilities.

Ross spoke during the opening day of a three-day workshop at the National Institutes of Health being held to help define symptoms and causes of "Persian Gulf Syndrome" and suggest directions for research.

The 12-member panel assembled by officials of five government agencies is scheduled to release a statement of its findings soon.

Besides Ross, the panel heard from almost two dozen military and Department of Veterans Affairs doctors, who discussed a laundry list of potentially harmful exposures to troops during the war. …

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