A total of 64 US service members have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries in the wake of the Iranian missile attack on US forces in Iraq earlier this month, the Pentagon revealed Thursday evening, confirming an earlier CNN report. President Donald Trump initially reported that "no Americans were harmed," but subsequent reports revealed that troops were injured in the attack, largely with concussions from the missile blasts. The number of injured service members has steadily risen from zero to 11 to 34 to 50 to the current 64. "The numbers are growing," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said at the Pentagon Thursday. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The number of US service members diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries in the wake of the Iranian missile attack on US and coalition forces in Iraq earlier this month has risen to 64, almost six times the figure that was reported a week after the president said "no Americans were harmed," the Pentagon revealed Thursday evening, confirming an earlier CNN report. In retaliation for the US drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, former head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force, the Iranian military launched a barrage of more than a dozen ballistic missiles at US forces serving in Iraq. No injuries were initially reported. On Jan. 16, US Central Command revealed that "while no US service members were killed" in this missile attack on Al-Asad Air Base, "several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed." A pressure wave from an explosion can injure organs like the brain and spinal cord at close enough range. At that time, the number affected was 11. CENTCOM revealed that the service members were taken to facilities in Germany and Kuwait for additional screening and treatment. On Jan. 24, the Pentagon revealed that the number of US service members who had been diagnosed with concussions, a mild traumatic brain injury, had risen to 34. Two days earlier, President Donald Trump, who initially said there were no injuries, appeared to downplay the injuries suffered by US military personnel in the attack. "I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say and I can report that it's not very serious," he said, adding, "I don't consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I've seen." Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said Thursday morning that the head injuries suffered in the attack were described as non-serious injuries, the least serious of DoD's categories for injury reports. As for how many service members have been affected, he added that the "number is growing." CNN, citing Pentagon officials, reported Tuesday that 50 US service members had been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries, 16 more than had been announced days earlier. That total affected has since risen by 14, bringing the total to 64. Thirty-nine service members have already returned to duty, the Department of Defense said Thursday. Eight have been evacuated to the US, and nine others are awaiting transport to the US. Others are still being assessed and treated in Iraq, Kuwait, and Germany. "We do everything we can to identify, treat and help our service members recover and return to duty," Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Thursday morning. "We'll continue to monitor them the rest of their lives and continue to provide whatever treatment is necessary," Milley said of affected service members. "We take great pride in the fact that these are our own and we're going to take care of them."Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A podiatrist explains heel spurs, the medical condition Trump said earned him a medical deferment from Vietnam
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The total number of service members in Iraq diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) is now...The total number of service members in Iraq diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) is now 50, a Pentagon spokesman said in a CNN report. The TBI diagnoses follows a missile strike at the Iraqi military's Al-Asad Airbase, where US and coalition troops were present. Fifteen of the 16 US service members who were recently diagnosed returned back to duty in Iraq. Officials said that the number of diagnoses is expected to change. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Sixteen additional cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been diagnosed amongst US troops stationed in Iraq, bringing the total number of service members diagnosed to 50, a Pentagon spokesman said in a CNN report on Tuesday. The TBI diagnoses follows a missile strike at the Iraqi military's Al-Asad Airbase, where US and coalition troops were present. Iranian forces on January 8, launched a barrage of missiles at the airbase and other US-locations in the country, but no American or coalition forces were killed. The Iranian missile strike was a retaliatory gesture after the US conducted a drone strike killing the regime's Quds Force commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. US officials, including President Donald Trump, said at the time that no US troops were harmed. It wasn't until a week later that the Defense Department corrected the record and said "several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed." A total of 34 US troops were initially diagnosed with concussions and TBI. Eleven US service members were transported to medical facilities in Germany and Kuwait for additional screening and treatment. Fifteen of the 16 US service members who were recently diagnosed returned back to duty in Iraq, according to CNN. Officials reportedly said that the number of diagnoses is expected to change. Pentagon officials reasoned that the fluctuation in the number of diagnoses were attributed to TBI, which they claim "comes over time." According to the US's Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TBIs are defined as "a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury." The CDC says that the severity of each TBI case can range from mild, "a brief change in mental status or consciousness," to severe, "an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury." Despite the seriousness of the condition, Trump downplayed the diagnoses and likened them to "headaches." "I heard that they had headaches, and a couple of other things," Trump said during a public press conference in Davos, Switzerland, last Wednesday. "But I would say, and I can report, it's not very serious. Not very serious." Trump's remarks drew concern from medical experts and veterans, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), one of the largest veterans organizations in the country. "The Veterans of Foreign Wars cannot stand idle on this matter," VFW National Commander William Schmitz said in a statement to Task & Purpose. "The VFW expects an apology from the president to our service men and women for his misguided remarks."SEE ALSO: US military's Special Operations Command says its newest recruits may have an 'unhealthy sense of entitlement' Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: We can thank the US military for the smelliest weapon in the world
Several US veterans’ organizations call for president to apologize for remarks about injuries suffered by service...Several US veterans’ organizations call for president to apologize for remarks about injuries suffered by service members in IraqVeterans of Foreign Wars, a prominent organization advocating for US military veterans, has called for Donald Trump to apologize for remarks downplaying brain injuries recently suffered by nearly three dozen American service members in Iraq. Related: Trump downplays brain injuries suffered by US troops in Iran missile strike Continue reading...
A Pentagon spokesman said that eight of the affected service members returned to the United States...A Pentagon spokesman said that eight of the affected service members returned to the United States from an American military hospital in Germany.