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More Than 600 U.S. Troops Reportedly Exposed To Chemical Agents In Iraq

“The New York Times” is reporting that more than 600 U.S. soldiers who served in Iraq since 2003 have said they were exposed to chemical agents there. The number is much higher than the 17 cases the Pentagon previously admitted.

The newspaper has published a series of articles during the past month quoting U.S. troops who described handling an arsenal of deteriorating chemical agents left over from the 1980s.

Some said they were told to stay silent about what they encountered.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered an internal review of U.S. military records on the issue in response to the newspaper reports.

In that review, the Pentagon found that 629 U.S. soldiers said “yes” when asked at the end of their tours in Iraq whether they thought they had been exposed to any chemical, biological, or radiological warfare agents.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and "The New York Times"