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Forgotten Gas Attacks in Yemen Haunt Syria Crisis

Sept. 16 (Bloomberg) -- The victims “complained of a choking feeling, burning in the stomach, spitting up black blood, partial blindness, black burns on the body, and skin that fell off leaving scars.”

The description is sickeningly reminiscent of the sarin gas attacks in Syria last month, yet this eyewitness testimony was recorded by U.K. politician Neil McLean in the Yemeni village of Jebal Bini Awar in July 1963 after an incident in a four-year campaign of chemical warfare that killed hundreds of Yemeni civilians. The conflict is largely forgotten, but the world’s failed response to repeated chemical assaults 50 years ago haunts the contemporary debate on Syria.