Monday 17 February 2020
News ID: 76048
Publish Date: 11 February 2020 - 23:05
WASHINGTON (Dispatches) -- The U.S. military on Monday disclosed a more than 50% jump in cases of what it calls traumatic brain injury stemming from Iran’s missile attack on a base in Iraq last month, with the number of service members diagnosed climbing to over 100.
American officials still claim no U.S. troops were killed or faced immediate bodily injury when Iran fired missiles at the Ain al-Asad base in Iraq in retaliation for the U.S. assassination of the Middle East’s most prominent anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike at the Baghdad airport on Jan. 3.
However, the U.S. military which initially claimed no injuries in the retaliation has constantly been raising the toll, with one Iranian military spokesman suggesting that the traumatic brain injury is in fact a metaphor for fatalities.
The "brain injuries” description is an unusual and vague expression in common military parlance wherein all injured troops, even mild ones, are classified as being "injured”, the spokesman for the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said earlier this month.
Reuters was first to report earlier on Monday that there were over 100 cases of TBI, up from the 64 previously reported last month.
The Pentagon, in a statement, confirmed that so far 109 U.S. service members had been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury. It added that 76 of them had returned to duty.
The U.S. military in the past had said to expect an increase in numbers in the weeks after the attack because symptoms can take time to manifest and troops can sometimes take longer to report them.
Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last month that the
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