Several U.S. service members received concussions and were treated for their injuries after Iran fired missiles at the Ain al-Assad military base in Iraq earlier this month, U.S. Central Command announced Thursday evening.
The disclosure of the injuries runs counter to Donald Trump’s previous claim that “no Americans were harmed” in the strike.
“While no U.S. service members were killed in the Jan. 8 Iranian attack … several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed,” Central Command spokesman Capt. Bill Urban said in a statement.
Urban noted that all personnel in the vicinity of the blast “are screened for traumatic brain injury, and if deemed appropriate, are transported to a higher level of care.”
Eleven service members were transported to hospitals for follow-up screenings after the Iranian attack. The attack was carried out in retaliation for the U.S. drone strike in Baghdad ordered by Trump on Jan. 2 that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the brutal leader of the Quds Force.
In a televised address to the nation the day after Iran’s retaliatory strike, Trump told a different story.
“No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties,” he said. “All of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases.”
Trump echoed that sentiment in a tweet after the attack.
“All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good!” he wrote.
The disclosure about injuries to the troops adds to widely voiced concerns about the initial Jan. 2 strike and its ongoing fallout.
Trump and his administration, most notably Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have repeatedly asserted that Soleimani posed an “imminent threat” to the United States but have never offered evidence to support the allegation.
Members of Congress indicated after briefings from the administration that they had not seen evidence to justify the claim either.
After the attack, the House of Representatives voted to curb Trump’s war powers, in an attempt to stave off a war with Iran. The Senate is also considering a vote limiting Trump’s powers in the wake of the attacks.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.