WASHINGTON — The Pentagon says additional military personnel were injured in the Iranian missile attack against two Iraqi bases on January 8, raising questions about transparency about the impact of the attack.
The newly reported injuries, where soldiers are being treated for possible concussions, were downplayed by President Trump. He had initially declared no U.S. personnel were injured in the Iranian attack. In reality, 11 soldiers were taken to hospitals in Germany and Kuwait for treatment, the Pentagon said last week.
On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported the additional injuries.
“I heard that they headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say and I can report that it’s not very serious,” Trump told reporters at a press conference in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, according to news reports. “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. I’ve seen people that were horribly, horribly injured in that area, in that war. No, I do not consider that to be bad injuries, no,” Trump said.
The Iranian missile attacks were in retaliation to a U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. After the Iranian action, Washington and Tehran stepped back from further escalation even as tensions remain on a razor edge.
The Pentagon did not provide exact numbers on the latest personnel to be treated.
“As medical treatment and evaluations in theater continue, additional service members have been identified as having potential injuries,” Capt. Bill Urban, spokesperson for U.S. Central Command, said in a statement. “These service members — out of an abundance of caution — have been transported to Landstuhl, Germany, for further evaluations and necessary treatment on an outpatient basis. Given the nature of injuries already noted, it is possible additional injuries may be identified in the future.”