US Troops’ Brain-Injury Toll from Iran Missile Attack Rises to 109
- February, 11, 2020 - 14:46
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The US military has for the fifth time raised the number of US service members who suffered traumatic brain injuries stemming from Iran's missile attack on a base in Iraq last month.
The United States military on Monday disclosed a more than 50 percent jump in cases of traumatic brain injury after Iranian missile attack on the US-run Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq in retaliation for the US assassination of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike at the Baghdad airport on January 3.
Reuters News Agency was first to report earlier on Monday that there were over 100 cases of TBI, up from the 64 previously reported last month, Al Jazeera reported.
The Pentagon, in a statement, confirmed that so far 109 US service members had been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury. It added that 76 of them had returned to duty.
The US military in the past had said to expect an increase in numbers in the weeks after the attack because symptoms can take time to manifest and troops can sometimes take longer to report them.
Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last month that the service members suffering from traumatic brain injuries had been diagnosed with mild cases. He added that the diagnosis could change as time passed.
Symptoms of concussive injuries include headaches, dizziness, sensitivity to light and nausea.
The mounting number of US casualties from missile attacks could increase scrutiny on the Trump administration's approach to Iran.
US President Donald Trump appeared to play down the brain injuries last month, saying he "heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things" following the attack, prompting criticism from politicians and a US veterans group.
Various health and medical groups for years have been trying to raise awareness about the seriousness of brain injuries, including concussions.
Since 2000, about 408,000 service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, according to Pentagon data.