US troops diagnosed with brain injuries after Iran missile strike - Pentagon

Elias Hubbard
January 26, 2020

The Pentagon announced Friday that 34 United States troops have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries as a result of the Iranian missile strike on an Iraqi air base on January 8.

During a trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, President Donald Trump said he had knowledge of the injuries. Soleimani was killed alongside leading Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and other members of their entourage amid a deadly cycle of tensions involving the US and forces aligned with Iran in Iraq. Nine more remain in Germany, where they are being evaluated and treated.

"I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say and I can report it is not very serious", Trump told reporters.

The military said symptoms were not immediately apparent, and that in some cases, the concussion-like symptoms appeared days later.

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.

The one American sent to Kuwait has since returned to duty in Iraq. The drone strike that killed Soleimani near Baghdad airport has roiled U.S.

The service members were transported earlier Friday and would receive treatment at either Walter Reed military hospital or their home bases.

No one was killed in the attack on Ain al-Asad. The U.S. had deployed numerous Patriot systems to other countries in the region as protection against Iranian missile attack, including in Saudi Arabia, but a strike on Iraq was seen as less likely. He credited the minimized damage to an early warning system "that worked very well" and said Americans should be "extremely grateful and happy" with the outcome.

Initial reports said at least 11 service members were injured as a result of the attack. Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., wrote senior Pentagon officials on Thursday requesting additional details on casualties from the attack.

Defense officials have said the injury information was not relayed to Washington until after the fact because no service members suffered loss of life, limb or eyesight.

Iran launched over 12 short-range ballistic missiles on January 8, damaging two Iraqi bases that house US and coalition forces.

During the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump was asked to explain the discrepancy between his previous comments that no United States service member was harmed in the January 8 Iranian missile attack on Al-Asad airbase in Iraq, and the latest reports of U.S. troops being treated for injuries sustained in that attack.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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