WASHINGTON — The Pentagon now says 109 troops have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, 45 more cases than when officials were asked about it last week and said there was no change in the numbers.
The injuries resulted from a January 8 Iranian strike on the Al-Asad airbase in Iraq, which houses U.S. forces. That attack was in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
The Al-Asad base does not have anti-missile protection. Iraq has refused new requests by the Pentagon to accept the installation of Patriot anti-anti-missile systems. The number of U.S personnel at the base fluctuates but is rarely below 300.
The new numbers were first reported by Reuters, which also said the Pentagon is preparing a formal report on the attack and injuries.
Last week Pentagon officials told TMN there were no updates to injuries when asked about reports on new numbers.
On Monday, President Trump again downplayed the numbers and the incident.
“Head trauma — that exists, but it’s, you know, I viewed it a little bit differently than most and I won’t be changing my mind on that,” Trump said during an interview on Fox Business. He initially had said no U.S personnel were harmed in the attack.