WASHINGTON – The Pentagon updated the number of service members injured during Iran’s missile assault on U.S. troop in Iraq earlier this month to 50 service members being treated for traumatic brain injuries.
The day after the attack, President Donald Trump said, “no Americans were harmed.” However, a week later, U.S. Central Command in the region said 11 service members were “treated for concussion symptoms.” Then, a few days later, the number nearly tripled as the Pentagon said 34 service members were diagnosed with injuries.
On Tuesday, Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Thomas Campbell put out a statement saying that “16 additional service members have been diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), 15 of which have returned to duty in Iraq.”
The missiles were launched in retaliation for a U.S. operation that killed Gen. Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s most powerful military commander, in early January.
Trump appeared to downplay the injuries last week, telling reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that he “heard that they had headaches, and a couple of other things, but I would say, and I can report, it’s not very serious.”
The Pentagon statement also said “18 service members have been transported to Germany for further evaluation and treatment” and “one service member had been transported to Kuwait and has since returned to duty.”
“Of these 50, 31 total service members were treated in Iraq and returned to duty,” the Pentagon statement continued.
“This is a snap shot in time and numbers can change,” it concluded.
Contributing: Tom Vanden Brook