Eleven U.S. service members were flown out of Al Assad Air Base in Iraq and treated for concussion symptoms after Iran’s rocket attack targeting two Iraqi military bases earlier this month, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command revealed Thursday night, Fox News reports.
President Trump and U.S. officials had said earlier that no Americans were killed or injured in the Jan. 8 attack.
Several U.S. troops “were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed. As a standard procedure, 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,” Capt. Bill Urban, the Central Command spokesman, said Thursday.
The troops were medevaced this week to Germany and Kuwait to be treated for traumatic brain injury after experiencing concussion symptoms.
Nearly one dozen American troops were wounded in Iran’s Jan. 8 missile attack on Iraq’s al-Asad air base. This week, they were medically evacuated to U.S. military hospitals in Kuwait and Landstuhl, Germany, to be treated for traumatic brain injury and to undergo further evaluation.
“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,” said Col. Myles Caggins, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. “When deemed fit for duty, the service members are expected to return to Iraq following screening. The health and welfare of our personnel is a top priority and we will not discuss any individual’s medical status.”
Several news organizations soon reported from al-Asad that U.S. troops had been alerted to the attack hours in advance, and told to head for bunkers 15 minutes before the missiles began to strike.
Many U.S. troops, however, manned exposed positions, including at least one group of drone operators who stayed in an above-ground building to get their drones aloft and avoid ground damage. The leader of an Army drone team told NPR that he was “knocked off his feet by the blast.” Others told the New York Times that missiles damaged the building they were in.
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Dean James at Right Wing Tribune