• Steph Oliver
  • From: NewsCore
  • January 17, 2011 2:03AM

TWENTY years after the first Gulf War, more than 9000 British veterans are still suffering from war-related health problems, the National Gulf Veterans and Families Association says.
The UK National Gulf Veterans and Families Association claimed Sunday that more should be done to support former soldiers who suffer from chronic headaches, cognitive difficulties, depression, unexplained fatigue, rashes and breathing problems.

"Although some veterans are on war pensions and benefits, a lot of them are still fighting not only the benefit system but the illnesses they have," said Maria Rusling of the association.
Thousands of troops from Britain and other countries became ill after the conflict began with what is often called Gulf War Syndrome.

During the war, allied forces launched a massive bombing campaign that led to victory over Iraq and started a more widespread offensive - Operation Desert Storm - that saw Saddam Hussein's forces leaving Kuwait after they invaded August 2, 1990.
Coalition soldiers then entered Iraq and advanced 150 miles from Baghdad before then-US President George Bush Sr. declared a ceasefire.

In 2009, a landmark study for the US Congress concluded that the troops' poor health was caused by nerve gas pills exposure to pesticides during the conflict.

However, the official position of the UK's Ministry of Defence is that Gulf War Syndrome is a useful umbrella term but comprises too many different symptoms to be characterised as a "syndrome" in medical terms - prompting veterans' representatives to blame that stance for sufferers' difficulties in receiving pensions.