TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – At least 34 US troops were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury following the Iranian strike on a US base in Iraq earlier this month, the Pentagon said, despite the administration’s prior claims the injuries were “not serious.”
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, according to RT.
Nine more remain in Germany, where they are being evaluated and treated. Another is back in Iraq after being sent to Kuwait for evaluation, and 16 are back on duty in Iraq following their diagnosis.
The Trump administration initially reported that the January 8 Iranian missile strikes on Ain al-Assad airbase in Anbar province in western Iraq had not resulted in any American casualties. Later, it emerged that “several” were being treated for concussion symptoms, a number that eventually climbed to 11 who were sent out of the country for evaluation.
US 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.”
Tehran carried out precision strikes on the base in retaliation for the Trump administration’s assassination of top commander Lt. General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad airport.
Despite an Iraqi Parliament vote earlier this month that called for all foreign troops to leave the country, the US military has insisted on staying, even while the Trump administration has paid lip service to the notion of Iraqi sovereignty.
A massive protest in Baghdad against what has once more officially become occupation by the US flooded the streets on Friday, with demonstrators demanding Washington withdraw at once or face dire consequences.