No injuries or deaths were reported in the initial aftermath of a series of Iranian missile attacks on U.S. positions in Iraq, but in the days that followed, 11 service members were hospitalized for concussion symptoms from the attack. That number has reportedly grown even larger.
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) did not provide an exact number of personnel being treated for injuries resulting from Iran’s missile strike, but did speak to CNN to confirm the number had risen beyond the initial 11 troops reported.
Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman for CENTCOM, said those additional troops were moved “out of an abundance of caution,” and said it is possible other injuries may be identified as time goes on.
In the morning after the Iranian missile attack, President Donald Trump announced no U.S. injuries or deaths.
“No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime,” Trump said at the time. “We suffered no casualties, all of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military base.”
Urban previously said CENTCOM identified the first 11 injured in the days after the attack, when concussion symptoms began to manifest.
In his latest statement, Urban said, “As medical treatment and evaluations in theater continue, additional service members have been identified as having potential injuries. These service members — out of an abundance of caution — have been transported to Landstuhl, Germany for further evaluations and necessary treatment on an outpatient basis.”
Pressed for comment about the latest news of injuries, Trump said on Wednesday, “I heard they had headaches and a couple of other things . . . and I can report it is not very serious,” the Associated Press reported.
Trump also suggested that those head injuries are less serious than injuries suffered by victims of other Iranian proxy attacks, such as roadside bombings that have killed U.S. military personnel or led to the loss of limbs.
“No, I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen,” he said. “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.”
Trump said he was informed of the concussed troops several days after he spoke on the Iranian missile attack.
At the time of Trump’s initial reaction to the Iranian missile attacks, he appeared to cite the lack of U.S. personnel injured or killed and the relatively minimal damage to U.S. bases in Iraq as an adequate reason to avoid further escalations with Iran.
The U.S. has not carried out retaliatory military responses to Iran but has added new economic sanctions against military officials in the country, in response to the missile attacks.