Pentagon says 34 US troops had brain injuries from Iran’s strike

Clay Curtis
January 24, 2020

Some 34 USA troops were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury following the Iranian strikes on two United States bases earlier this month, the Pentagon has said, despite the administration's prior claims the injuries were "not serious".

Seventeen service members who were injured have since returned to duty in Iraq, sixteen of whom were treated locally in the country.

"Thirty-four total members have been diagnosed with concussions and TBI (traumatic brain injury)", Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters.

President Trump initially said no US troops had been injured in the attack and shrugged off subsequent reports of injuries.

Last week, US Central Command said that 11 service members were treated for concussion symptoms from the attack.

President Donald Trump has consistently minimized the injuries, stating earlier this week that he had "heard [the injured soldiers] had headaches" but insisting "it is not very serious...relative to other injuries I have seen".

The Pentagon has revealed that 34 service members had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury following missile strikes by Iran on a base in Iraq earlier this month.

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The nine other victims who were flown to Germany "are still undergoing evaluation and treatment there", he added.

The one American sent to Kuwait has since returned to duty in Iraq.

Eight US soldiers previously airlifted to Germany have been removed to the US for further treatment, the Pentagon acknowledged in a press conference on Friday.

At least one of the missiles at al-Asad struck just yards from a bunker with a service member in it, said Major General Alex Grynkewich, a senior USA commander for the United States mission in Iraq and Syria, during a briefing with reporters on Tuesday.

Iran launched the missile attack on a U.S. base in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of general Qasem Soleimani.

The U.S. had no missile defence systems protecting Ain al-Asad from potential missile attack.

The Pentagon said "Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against United States military and coalition forces in Iraq". Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., wrote senior Pentagon officials on Thursday requesting additional details on casualties from the attack. The goal, Hoffman said, is to be accurate and transparent with the American people. They also said just injuries don't always manifest immediately.

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