Trump calls US troop injuries after Iran missile attack 'not very serious' after many were treated for concussion symptoms and possible traumatic brain injuries
- President Donald Trump downplayed injuries that US troops suffered when Iran launched a barrage of missiles at American forces in Iraq earlier this month.
- Last week, after the president said "no Americans were harmed," US Central Command revealed that nearly a dozen US troops were treated for concussion symptoms and possible traumatic brain injuries.
- The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the number of US troops that had to be airlifted out of Iraq for additional care has since increased.
- "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," Trump said Wednesday, adding they are not as bad as other injuries he's seen.
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President Donald Trump, who initially claimed that "no Americans were harmed" in the Iranian missile attack on US forces, told reporters Wednesday that recently reported injuries suffered by US troops - at least a dozen of whom were treated for concussion symptoms and possible traumatic brain injuries - were "not that serious."
"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," the president told the press in Davos, Switzerland. "I don't consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I've seen."
"I've seen what Iran has done with their roadside bombs to our troops," he continued. "I've seen people that were horribly, horribly injured in that area, in that war."
The Iranian military launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at US and coalition forces stationed at Al Asad Air Base and Irbil in Iraq on January 8 in retaliation for a US drone strike a week earlier that killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a senior Iranian commander who led the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force.
While no one was killed in the attack, a number of US troops were injured, despite early claims to the contrary from the administration.
"Several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed," US Central Command revealed on January 16.
"As a standard procedure," CENTCOM said in its statement, "all personnel in the vicinity of a blast are screened for traumatic brain injury, and if deemed appropriate are transported to a higher level of care.
"In the days following the attack, out of an abundance of caution, some service members were transported from Al Asad Air Base, Iraq to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, others were sent to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, for follow-on screening."
CENTCOM said in its statement that 11 service members had been transported out of Iraq for care.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that an unspecified number of additional service members were later taken out of Iraq for care following the Iranian attack.
"As medical treatment and evaluations in theater continue, additional service members have been identified as having potential injuries," a US military spokeswoman told the Post.
The spokeswoman, Army Maj. Beth Riordan, explained that it's possible the number of troops requiring medical evaluations and follow-on care could rise further. "Given the nature of injuries already noted, it is possible additional injuries may be identified in the future," she explained.