More Than 100 Troops Have Brain Injuries From Iran Missile Strike, Pentagon Says

Mihir Zaveri – New York Times Feb 10, 2020

US soldiers clear rubble at the Ain al-Asad military airbase in Anbar province after an Iranian missile strike. Click to enlarge

More than 100 American service members have traumatic brain injuries from Iranian airstrikes on Al Asad Air Base in Iraq in January, the Defense Department said, a number that was more than 50 percent higher than previously disclosed.

Of the 109 troops who have been diagnosed with brain injuries, 76 had returned to duty, officials said Monday.

“We are grateful to the efforts of our medical professionals who have worked diligently to ensure the appropriate level of care for our service members, which has enabled nearly 70 percent of those diagnosed to return to duty,” said Alyssa Farah, the Pentagon press secretary.

The latest tally, which has steadily grown since the Jan. 8 strike, drew a sharp contrast with the assertion by the Trump administration in the hours after the attack that no Americans were hurt. The number also underscored the unseen effects of traumatic brain injuries, which sometimes do not manifest symptoms for days or weeks but can have long-term physical or mental effects.

And as the injury toll has mounted, veterans groups and others have levied criticism at the White House, in part because, in January, President Trump dismissed the injuries as “not very serious.”

“I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things,” Mr. Trump said at a news conference Jan. 22 in Davos, Switzerland. “I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries I have seen.”

At least a dozen missiles were fired during the attack, which was a retaliation for the killing of a top Iranian general, Qassim Suleimani, by an American drone strike in Baghdad on Jan. 3. The Trump administration at first said there were no injuries, but a week later said several service members were evaluated for possible concussions.

Then, days after Mr. Trump’s statements in Davos, the Defense Department said that 34 people had suffered brain injuries. The number was later increased to 50 and then to 64, with military officials saying that the symptoms of traumatic brain injuries could take weeks to appear.

The repeated revisions have drawn outrage from some veterans and senators.

“The number just keeps going up,” Paul Rieckhoff, the founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said on Twitter on Monday. “It’s time for Congress to demand a full investigation. The public and our military families deserve the truth.”

Frank Luntz, a longtime Republican strategist, said on Twitter on Monday that a traumatic brain injury “can have debilitating lifelong effects.”

“We shouldn’t hide our veterans’ injuries just to pretend like we’re invincible,” he said.

Traumatic brain injuries can result from the powerful changes in atmospheric pressure that accompany an explosion like that from a missile warhead. Only in the last several years has the Pentagon made a considerable effort to understand the injuries.

Mr. Trump’s statements appeared to echo sentiments common in the early years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where troops rattled by explosions were visibly uninjured and ushered back to duty, only to have long-term effects from the blasts manifest weeks and months later.

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said at a news conference in January that the Pentagon took those types of injuries “very seriously.”

The White House did not immediately respond to questions on Monday afternoon.


5 responses to “More Than 100 Troops Have Brain Injuries From Iran Missile Strike, Pentagon Says”

  1. GOOD serves them right
    fancy inviting the iranoan general to talk opeace then bombing him and his driver etc
    what filthy bastards to do this
    reading this pleases me immensely

  2. Usa dod official – 132 soldiers died and 148 wounded.

  3. “Cannon Fodder”…A long line of casualties and heinous deceptions…war crimes…hoax and lies through history continuing to present day…December 23 1913 the Foot Hold…Blackmailed Wilson OK’s the Central Bank…WWI…Germany kicked their ARSE until the Balfour Resolution…WWII…Myth of German Villiany…Germany kicks their ARSES again until COMMIE SOB FDR provokes and manipulates Japan…The REAL HOLOCAUST… The Morganthau plan…Tens of millions of German soilders…old men women and children “MURDERED” after the war was OVER…Rhine Meadow DEATH CAMPS…Run by IKE the Notated Terrible Swedish Jew in his WESY POINT year book and appointed to SUPREME COMMANDER as many Military Elite looked on in “ASTONISHMENT”…He graduated near the bottom of his class… 1963 JFK assinated…The laws of physics cease to exist in Deleay Plaza according to ZIO Jew Senator Allen Spector (Burn in Hell)…Lee Oswald got his “MAGIC BULLET” ammo from the same guy Jack got his beans…1968 USS Liberty attacked in International waters…OPPS! Smarter than THOU ZIO Jews made a mistake…murdered 34 including 2 Marines and wounded 174…Fast forward…911…in your FACE America…WAKE UP…The.Laws of physics cease to exist AGAIN for building 7 but not for the souls that jumped from the burning TOWERS…RIP…etc…etc…”When/if America wakes no matter the cost ISRAHELL will cease to exist” Dr. Allen Sabrosky.

  4. “O” come on Brain injuries -? Seriously, you have to have a brain first to have a brain injury, even Trump does not have a brain he operates on conjecture – wet dreams – and hearsay , a typical Yank. coming quickly to their end, in lest than a tenth of Rome , and good riddance to the evil empire, and its masters in the stolen lands.
    The world will be a better place without the two.

  5. Tresmegistus…Usa dod official – 132 soldiers died and 148 wounded.
    They are all or nearly all Green Card Foederatis ….