The Pentagon is expecting to announce the number of troops injured in Iran’s January missile attacks on U.S. positions in Iraq has risen to more than 100, according to a Reuters report Monday.
Pentagon officials who spoke on condition of anonymity told Reuters that the Pentagon would announce its latest casualty assessment in the weeks since the missile attack. More and more U.S. troops have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in the days and weeks since the Jan. 8 missile attack.
On Monday, CNN also reported news of the expected casualty assessments.
President Donald Trump initially indicated no U.S. personnel were hurt following the attack, which was launched by Iran as retaliation for the U.S. strike that killed Iranian Quds Force Gen. Qassem Soleimani. In the days that followed the missile strikes, eleven troops were identified as having concussion like symptoms consistent with TBI.
The number of troops identified as having those injuries has grown, with the last Pentagon report indicating 64 military personnel were diagnosed with TBI.
It is not clear when the Pentagon is expected to announce the latest casualty assessment from the Iran missile attack.
Pentagon officials have indicated that many of the injuries have been dormant and have taken time to manifest since the attack occurred. Those officials also warned that the number of troops diagnosed with TBI could continue to rise as around 200 personnel were reportedly close to missile blasts when they occurred and were later screened for injuries.
Trump appeared to downplay the severity of the injuries as “not serious” after reports of injuries first began to emerge. He described those TBI symptoms as akin to headaches and not as bad as others suffered in recent years.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) demanded an apology from Trump following his dismissive comments about the injuries of the attack.
After Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley provided a prior casualty report in January, Milley explained that Trump’s comments may have been a result of a Pentagon injury classification process that tends to label TBI related casualties as “Not Serious Injured” (NSI).
“I’ve had the chance to speak with the president,” Esper said when he spoke alongside Milley. “He is very concerned about the health and welfare of all of our service members, particularly those who were involved in the operations in Iraq, and he understands the nature of these injuries.