Shorly after Iran’s Jan. 8 missile strikes on military bases in Iraq that housed U.S. troops, President Donald Trump tweeted that “all is well.”
“I’m pleased to inform you the American people should be extremely grateful and happy,” Trump said later in a live address to the nation. “No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime.”
Eight days later, U.S. officials confirmed that 11 U.S. service members suffered traumatic brain injuries in the strikes, which came in retaliation for Trump’s decision to kill Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
“While no U.S. service members were killed in the Jan. 8 Iranian attack on Al Asad Air base, several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed,” Capt. Bill Urban, spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said in a statement. “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.”
Although it is true that concussion symptoms can emerge days later, the Pentagon reportedly declined to disclose or even confirm the injuries until they were reported by the media.
From ABC News: Eleven service members were flown out of Iraq in the last 24 to 36 hours, an official told ABC News. Eight were taken to Landstuhl, Germany, while another three were taken to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. … Because of HIPPA laws, a U.S. official couldn’t provide many details of the injuries — only saying the service members’ TBI symptoms had worsened enough to warrant evacuation out of Iraq.
More from CNN: Following the attack the Pentagon said that no casualties had resulted from the 16 missiles fired by Iran. The US military defines a casualty as either an injury or fatality involving personnel. Asked about the apparent discrepancy, a Defense official told CNN, “That was the commander’s assessment at the time. Symptoms emerged days after the fact, and they were treated out of an abundance of caution.”
On Friday, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, praised the missile strikes during his first speech at Friday prayers in eight years.
“The day in which the missiles of [Iran’s Revolutionary Guards] rained down upon the American base, that was also the day of the Almighty,” he said.