On Aug. 21, an alleged chemical weapons attack occurred near Damascus in Syria. More than 1,400 people were killed, many of them children. A United Nations report due out Monday is expected to say say the perpetrators of the attack had up to 350 liters of sarin gas Look back at the history of sarin, a man-made nerve agent.
Sarin is a man-made chemical weapon that acts as a nerve agent. Sarin is a liquid that is clear, odorless and tasteless and can be evaporated into a gas and released into the air.
The Center for Disease Control says symptoms of sarin exposure include runny nose, watery eyes, blurred vision, eye pain, drooling and excessive sweating, cough, chest tightness, rapid breathing and vomiting and/or abdominal pain. People exposed to sarin may also experience a slow or fast heart rate and low or high blood pressure.
History of sarin:
1938: Sarin is developed in Germany as a pesticide
1967: The U.S. military secretly tests sarin in the Upper Waiakea Forest Reserve on the island of Hawaii. The testers detonate sarin-filled 155mm artillery shells to study how the nerve agent disperses in a tropical jungle. The test is called "Red Oak." The Pentagon confirms the Red Oak program in November 2002.
1980s - Sarin and other nerve agents may have been used in chemical warfare during the Iran-Iraq War.
On "Bloody Friday" in March 1988, the Iraqi air force attacks the northern Iraq town of Halabja with poison gases that were thought to include sarin, VX and other deadly compounds. Reports indicate that 5,000 people die in the attack. Countless others suffer eyesight loss, respiratory ailments and cancers.
June 27, 1994 - In Japan, seven people die and more than 500 are hospitalized when the Aum Supreme Truth or Aum Shinri Kyo cult release sarin from a truck driving slowly around an apartment complex in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. Another victim dies in 2008. On March 20, 1995, the Aum Supreme Truth or Aum Shinri Kyo (now known as Aleph) cult places plastic bags of sarin on trains that converge in the government district during Tokyo's rush hour. 13 people die and more than 5,000 become ill.
May 17, 2004 - A coalition convoy in Baghdad finds sarin gas in an artillery round that had been rigged as an improvised explosive device. The IED detonates as officials attempt to defuse it. Two members of the explosive ordinance team suffer minor exposure.
June 23, 2006 - The U.S. Army releases a report to Congress stating that allied forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions containing degraded mustard or sarin gas since 2003. The weapons were produced before the 1991 Gulf War, and many experts believe the sarin would no longer be dangerous.
June 15, 2012 - Katsuya Takahashi, 54, the last fugitive suspect in the 1995 sarin attacks on the Tokyo subway, is captured by Japanese police, ending a 17-year manhunt.
April 25, 2013 - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel first declares that Syria has used sarin gas on a small scale, killing 150 people in the country.