WASHINGTON (Dispatches) -- At least 11 American troops were injured in an Iranian attack on a base in Iraq where American soldiers were deployed, U.S. Central Command said Thursday, although the U.S. military had previously maintained there were no casualties.
"While no U.S. service members were killed in the Jan. 8 Iranian attack on al-Asad Air base, several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed,” U.S. Central Command spokesman Captain Bill Urban said in a statement.
At the time of the attack, most of the 1,500 U.S. soldiers at the base had reportedly been tucked away in bunkers, after advance warning from superiors.
The strike caused significant material damage but no casualties, according to previous reports from the U.S. military.
U.S. President Donald Trump also said on the morning following the volley that "no American were harmed in last night’s attack.”
However, Urban said that "in the days following the attack, out of an abundance of caution, some service members were transported from al-Asad Air Base.”
"At this time, eight individuals have been transported to Landstuhl, and three have been transported to Camp Arifjan,” he said, referring to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and Camp Arifjan in Kuwait.
In addition to the sprawling Ain al-Asad airbase in western Iraq, Iran’s missiles also targeted a base in Arbil, housing both American and other foreign troops.
"When deemed fit for duty, the service members are expected to return to Iraq following screening,” Urban said.
On Wednesday, an AFP report said moments after volleys of Iranian missiles began to batter the Ain al-Asad airbase, U.S. soldiers at the desert facility lost contact with their ultra-powerful -- and expensive -- eyes in the sky.
At the time the attack was launched at 1:35 am on January 8, the U.S. army was flying seven unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over Iraq to monitor bases where U.S. forces are deployed.
After the missiles landed, the soldiers could no longer locate the drones and were left blind to events in the air -- and on the ground.
Troops that bore the brunt of Iran’s first direct missile attack
against U.S. forces said they were shocked by its intensity, Reuters also reported.
The scale of the damage at the Ain al-Asad base showed Iran’s destructive capability, the news agency said.
Heavy concrete blast walls were knocked over and the shipping containers were smashed and charred along with contents including bicycles, chairs and other furniture.
Staff Sgt. Armando Martinez, who had been out in the open to watch for casualties, said he could not believe how easily one missile leveled the concrete blast walls.
"You see a white light like a shooting star and then a few seconds later it lands and explodes. The other day, after the attack, one colleague saw an actual shooting star and panicked.”