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US military raises injury toll in Iran missile attack in Iraq

Military personnel stationed at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq (LCpl. John A. Krake/WikiCommons)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The Pentagon has raised to 110 the number of U.S. service members who suffered traumatic brain injuries during an Iranian missile attack on an air base in Iraq last month.

The total figure announced on February 21 is one higher than the toll announced on February 10.

It represented the sixth time the U.S. military has raised the total of those suffering injuries in the attack that took place on the night of January 7-8.

President Donald Trump initially said that no Americans were harmed in the attack on the Ain al-Asad Air Base, which came amid tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Iran said the missile attack on Ain al-Asad and another air base hosting U.S. troops in Iraq was revenge for the killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force, in a U.S. drone strike near Baghdad’s airport on January 3.

The Pentagon said all of the wounded in the base attack were diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury and that 77 of them have already returned to duty.

It added that 35 others have been transported to Germany for further evaluation, 25 of whom have been sent on to the United States.

“From al-Asad to Germany and the United States, the military’s medical professionals continue to work diligently to ensure the appropriate level of care for our service members, which has enabled 70 percent of those diagnosed to return to duty,” the Pentagon said.