(ANTIWAR.COM) — Though President Trump has said that there were no American casualties in Iran’s missile attack on the Ayn al-Asad airbase, the US military now says that 11 troops actually were taken out of the base for treatment after the strike.
U.S. defense and military officials have confirmed to Defense One:
“Nearly one dozen American troops were wounded in Iran’s Jan. 8 missile attack on Iraq’s al-Asad air base. This week, they were medically evacuated to U.S. military hospitals in Kuwait and Landstuhl, Germany, to be treated for traumatic brain injury and to undergo further evaluation.”
Iran attacked Ayn al-Asad in retaliation for the US assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The Iranian government gave the US and several other nations advance notice to try to reduce the possibility of casualties.
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It is unclear why the Pentagon went along with the reports of no casualties for so long before coming out with this. It may suggest they were trying to help with cooling down tensions by not heavily publicizing it.
Troops took cover before the attack, and were subsequently not hit. The 11 US troops who needed to go to treatment showed symptoms of a concussion owing to the blast. CENTCOM confirmed that the troops were taken for “follow-on screening” as a measure of caution.
While concussions potentially have serious long-term ramifications, the CENTCOM comments seemed to downplay that risk, saying they expect those 11 troops to return to Iraq as soon as they are deemed fit for duty.
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