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Pentagon Raises Number of Troops Hurt in Iran Strike

50 service members suffered traumatic brain injuries
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 29, 2020 12:45 AM CST
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This Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019 photo taken from a helicopter shows Ain al-Asad air base in the western Anbar desert, Iraq.   (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser, File)
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(Newser) – The Pentagon has raised to 50 the number of US service members who suffered traumatic brain injuries in Iran's missile strike earlier this month on an Iraqi air base, the third time the number of injuries has been increased. The new total released belies President Trump's initial claim that no Americans were harmed, the AP reports. Days after the attack, the military said 11 service members were injured. Last week, the Pentagon said that 34 US service members were hurt. Lt. Col. Thomas Campbell, a Pentagon spokesman, said Tuesday that 16 additional service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. Of the 50, Campbell said, 31 service members had returned to duty.

The service members were treated in Iraq, or at military health centers, including Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, the largest US military hospital outside the continental United States, and a US military medical facility in Kuwait. The military said symptoms of concussion or traumatic brain injury were not immediately reported after the Jan. 8 missile strike and in some cases became known days later. Many were in bunkers before nearly a dozen Iranian ballistic missiles exploded. After the Pentagon reported on Jan. 17 that 11 service members had been evacuated from Iraq with concussion-like symptoms, Trump said, "I heard they had headaches and a couple of other things ... and I can report it is not very serious." He said he did not consider the injuries "very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I've seen."

(Read more Iran stories.)

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