Additional US soldiers were transported out of Iraq for medical treatment and evaluation after the Iranian missile attack on US bases in the country two weeks ago, reported the Washington Post on Tuesday. Initially, President Donald Trump and other defense officials had stated that no service members were injured in the attack.
The announcement comes after an earlier statement by the Pentagon on Friday that 11 service members required medical treatment outside Iraq. US military officials didn't say how many more soldiers were receiving care, but did say that "additional" personnel had been sent to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
The number of service members requiring treatment could increase in coming days.On Wednesday, Trump said he did not consider the brain injuries suffered by the service members to be serious, as the American military moved more troops out of the region for potential injuries."I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say and I can report it is not very serious," Trump told a news conference in Davos, Switzerland.While the US military has to immediately report incidents threatening life, limb or eyesight, it does not have an urgent requirement to do so with suspected traumatic brain injury, or TBI, which can take time to manifest and diagnose."I don't consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries I have seen," Trump said. "I've seen people with no legs and no arms."
“The health and safety of all service members is the greatest concern for all Department leadership and we greatly appreciate the care that these members have received and continue to receive at the hands of our medical professionals,” said Army Maj. Beth Riordan, a military spokeswoman, in a statement, according to the Washington Post. “As medical treatment and evaluations in theater continue, additional service members have been identified as having potential injuries.”
"Given the nature of injuries already noted, it is possible additional injuries may be identified in the future," added Riordan.
The condition of the 11 service members who were transported out of Iraq earlier is unknown.
Military officials told the Washington Post that dozens of service members were suffering from concussion-like symptoms.
Iran fired at least 22 missiles at Ain al-Asad and another base near the northern Iraqi Kurdish city of Erbil that also hosts US forces, the Iraqi military has said. The attack was carried out in response to the US assassination of former IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani.Reuters contributed to this report.