The Pentagon announced that 34 American service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries in the aftermath of the Iranian missile attack on the Al Asad airbase in Iraq.
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said that 17 service members were treated and have returned to active duty. He added that the other 17 soldiers were transported to a hospital in Germany. Of those troops, eight of them were flown to the United States, where they are undergoing treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center. The other nine soldiers remain hospitalized in Germany.
In the hours following the attack, the Pentagon and President Donald Trump said no U.S. troops were injured or killed in the strikes, which were in retaliation for a U.S. drone attack that killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. Last week, the Pentagon backtracked and admitted that 11 soldiers stationed at the base were being evaluated for traumatic brain injuries.
"The goal is to be as transparent, accurate, and to provide the American people and our service members with the best information about the tremendous sacrifices our warfighters make," Hoffman told reporters.
Earlier in the week, President Trump attempted to downplay the severity of the injuries.
"No, I don't consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I've seen," he told reporters in Davos, Switzerland. "I've seen what Iran has done with their roadside bombs to our troops. I've seen people with no legs and with no arms. I've seen people that were horribly, horribly injured in that area, that war."
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