The Pentagon announced yesterday that 64 US troops have now sustained injuries as a result of the 8 January Iranian missile retaliatory attack on two military bases in Iraq, revising once again how many servicemen were hurt, despite US President Donald Trump initially denying any personnel were harmed and later downplaying the seriousness of the injuries as “headaches”.
“The diagnosis we have so far to date is mild traumatic brain injury [TBI],” General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters.
According to Stars and Stripes, of the 64 troops diagnosed with TBI, 39 were “treated and returned to duty”.
Earlier this week, it was reported that the number of injured troops had been significantly raised to 50, up from the 34 figure revealed the week before and the 11 reported on 17 January. The total number could rise further according to Milley as TBIs can take time to manifest.
Yesterday US Defence Secretary Mark Esper sought to defend the president’s response to the developments in stating that Trump is “very concerned about the health and welfare of all our service members”.
Last week, however, Veterans of Foreign Wars demanded the president issue an apology over his downplaying of TBI among troops in the attack. “The VFW expects an apology from the President to our service men and women for his misguided remarks,” said William Schmitz VFW National Commander.