- The Washington Times - Monday, February 10, 2020

The number of U.S. troops who suffered brain injuries during a Jan. 8 Iranian attack on an American military base in Iraq has topped 100, the Pentagon said Monday night.

Defense Department officials said 109 troops have been diagnosed with “mild traumatic brain injuries” since the attack on Al Asad Air Base. The new figure represents yet another major jump in the number of injuries.

The Pentagon’s previous figure released two weeks ago put the number at 64.

“The Defense Department is steadfast in its efforts to deliver programs and services intended to lead to the best possible outcomes for our service members,” Pentagon press secretary Alyssa Farah said in a statement. “We are grateful to the efforts of our medical professionals who have worked diligently to ensure the appropriate level of care for our service members, which has enabled nearly 70 percent of those diagnosed to return to duty. We must continue to address physical and mental health together.”

Of the 109 service members, 76 have been treated and have returned to duty, military officials said.

The Iranian ballistic missile attack on Al Asad Air Base came just days after a U.S. airstrike killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The incident brought the U.S. and Iran to the brink of war, but President Trump ultimately decided against direct military retaliation.

Part of the president’s rationale was that no Americans were killed or seriously wounded in the Iranian assault — a rationale that is now challenged by the Pentagon’s ever-rising estimate of injuries.

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