- The Washington Times - Friday, January 24, 2020

Thirty-four U.S. troops suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of the Jan. 8 Iranian ballistic missile attack on an American military base in Iraq, Pentagon officials said Friday, revealing that many more service members were affected by the strike than initially reported.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters that 17 of the 34 troops remain under medical observation.

The attack on Al Asad Air Base came amid high tensions between the U.S. and Iran, though President Trump ultimately decided against direct military retaliation after the attack. The Iranian attack came just days after a U.S. airstrike killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Both Mr. Trump and military officials initially said there had been no major injuries as a result of the assault. But on Jan. 17, the Pentagon revealed that 11 service members were treated for concussion symptoms in the days following the attack.

Friday’s comments from Pentagon officials confirm that the actual number was much higher.

The president earlier this week downplayed the injuries.

SEE ALSO: 8 American troops return to U.S. to treat brain injuries after Iranian missile attack

“I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say, and I can report, it is not very serious,” Mr. Trump said during a press conference at an economic forum in Switzerland.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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