US troop injuries after Iran missile strike rises to 64
Fourteen additional U.S. service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries from an Iranian attack on an Iraqi air base earlier this month, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
A Department of Defense official said that 64 U.S. service members in total have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury, or a TBI. The updated figures are a 14-person increase from what the department reported Wednesday.
The department initially reported 34 service members had been injured last week, before upping the number to 50.
Thirty-nine members have returned to duty, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col Thomas Campbell said. Twenty-one service members have been taken to Germany for further evaluation and treatment of TBI.
The Iranian attack on the Iraqi airbase was in retaliation for President Trump’s order for a drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani near Baghdad International Airport.
Trump downplayed the injuries after the initial report from the Pentagon identifying the 34 cases of TBIs. The president initially said no service members had been injured, and later said he had “heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things,” calling it “not very serious.”
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) called for Trump to apologize for his comments.