USA troops injured in recent Iranian strike: Pentagon

Cheryl Sanders
January 24, 2020

The Defense Department Friday confirmed 34 USA troops suffered traumatic brain injuries the Iranian missile strike on two Iraqi air bases earlier this month in retaliation for the targeted US drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said 17 of the 34 casualties are still receiving medical treatment in the first acknowledgement of TBI related to the incident.

During a trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, President Donald Trump said he had knowledge of the injuries.

As far back as January 13, USA military officials told reporters visiting al-Asad that "dozens" of service members were suffering from concussion-like symptoms.

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. One was transported to Kuwait and "has returned to duty in Iraq". "Over the last two weeks, we have seen a persistent and dedicated effort by our medical professionals in Iraq, Kuwait and Germany to diagnose any and all members who need assistance".

"Thirty-four total members have been diagnosed with concussions and TBI", Hoffman said.

Hoffman said that 17 of the victims had been initially transferred to Germany to receive treatment, eight of whom arrived back in the United States on Friday.

The Pentagon said "Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq".

Two weeks ago, in retaliation for the US airstrike that killed Gen. Qassim Soleimani, Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi air bases housing USA forces.

Some members of Congress this week pressed the Pentagon for more clarity on the scope of the TBI cases resulting from the Iranian attack.

On Friday morning, Defence Secretary Mark Esper directed the Pentagon's acting undersecretary of defence for personnel and readiness, Matthew Donovan, to begin working with the staff of the Joint Chiefs to review how military injuries are tracked and reported - not just TBI cases but battlefield injuries of all kinds, Hoffman told reporters. The goal, Hoffman said, is to be accurate and transparent with the American people.

Traumatic brain injuries are not always apparent immediately after they've been suffered.

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