- Pentagon leaders didn’t know US troops were injured in an Iranian missile attack on US and coalition forces until a week after the attack, the Defence Department said Friday.
- Eleven service members with concussion symptoms were transported to facilities in Germany and Kuwait for additional screening and treatment, US Central Command said Friday.
- The revelation comes days after President Donald Trump insisted that “no Americans were harmed” in the attack.
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Pentagon leadership had no idea that nearly a dozen US troops were injured in the Iranian missile attack on US and coalition forces in Iraq until a week after the attack, the Department of Defence said Friday.
Despite President Donald Trump’s assurances that “no Americans were harmed” in the barrage that damaged parts of two Iraqi bases housing US and coalition forces, US Central Command revealed in an emailed statement that “several [US service members] were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed.”
Eleven service members who were at Al Asad air base the night of the attack were transported to either Landstuhl Regional Medical Centre in Germany or Camp Arifjan in Kuwait.
Some observers suggested that the Pentagon intentionally sat on this information, possibly for political reasons. But a Pentagon spokesperson insisted that was not case.
“This idea that there was an effort to de-emphasise injuries for some sort of amorphous political agenda doesn’t hold water,” the spokesman said, according to Reuters.
The Pentagon said Secretary of Defence Mark Esper was not aware of the injuries until Thursday, one week after the attack.
Esper was informed by Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten, who interrupted a meeting Esper was in to give him an update from Central Command, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman and Defence Department press secretary Alyssa Farah told reporters Friday, according to Task & Purpose.
Farah said that typically only cases where life, limb, or eyesight are threatened are reported to the Pentagon. Hoffman added that some service members did not show or report symptoms until later.
The spokesman added that Trump would not have known about the injuries because he gets his information from Esper.
The Iranian missile attack was a response to a US drone strike a week earlier that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who led Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force. After the missile attack, Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC Aerospace Forces, claimed without evidence that “tens of US troops have likely been killed and wounded.”
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