The United States military on Monday divulged a more than 50 percent jump in cases of distressing brain injury stemming from Iran's rocket attack on a base in Iraq last month, with the variety of service members diagnosed reaching over 100.
Of those injured, 76 have been returned to duty. A Pentagon statement about the injuries did not include details about the service members, such as their age, rank or military unit.
Speaking after Trump's remarks, Michael Kaplen, the chair of the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Services Coordinating Council and past president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State, said that the condition is a "life-altering" injury. "No Americans were harmed in last night's attack by the Iranian regime", Trump said shortly after the strike. "We suffered no casualties".
Soon after, that number was revised, climbing from 11 to 34.
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said February 3 that the individual military services determine the criteria for whether to recommend an individual for a Purple Heart medal, which is given to troops who are injured by an enemy.
He had said he would expect an increase in the number in the weeks after the attack because the symptoms may take time to manifest and the troops may sometimes take longer to report them. Approximately 200 people who were in the blast zone at the time of the attack have been screened for symptoms.
5 are still being evaluated.
In a letter on February 4, two members of the US Congress urged the Department of Defense to be transparent regarding the number and extent of injuries during Iran's missile attack at Ain al-Asad Base. In return for this benefit to Iran, Soleimani stood up to Shiite militias, armed them with advanced Iranian roadside bombs, and directed their use against USA troops, causing thousands of casualties, including 603 US dead.
And as the injury toll has mounted, veterans groups and others have levied criticism at the White House, in part because, in January, President Donald Trump dismissed the injuries as "not very serious".