Published: Thu, February 13, 2020
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

USA service members diagnosed with brain injuries after Iran strike

USA service members diagnosed with brain injuries after Iran strike

In retaliation for the killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani in an American drone attack on January 3 in Baghdad, Tehran launched over 13 ballistic missiles on the two military bases in Anbar and near the city of Erbil. Out of these, 76 military members have returned to active duty, 26 members were being treated in the USA and Germany and 7 members were on their way to Germany from Iraq to be evaluated further.

Iraqi officials have indicated that the United States is likely to renew a key Iran sanctions waiver that will allow Baghdad to continue importing Iranian natural gas to fuel its electricity needs, the AP reported today. As a Washington Post analysis added yesterday, "It's true that information comes in slowly - especially information about traumatic brain injuries, symptoms of which can take days to manifest". That same night, a Ukranian passenger plane was shot down.

According to CNN, troops and personnel at the base were said to have been made aware of Iran's plans to attack several hours before the strikes took place, giving them plenty of time to take cover. Both sides have refrained from further military escalation, but the mounting number of US casualties could increase scrutiny on the Trump administration's approach to Iran. The numbers were bound to change as the army was in the early stages of diagnosis and therapy for the troops.

Last month, Trump said he does not consider potential brain injuries to be as serious as physical combat wounds, downplaying the severity of the injuries suffered in Iraq.

Trump has consistently tried to minimize the injuries, stating that he had "heard [the injured soldiers] had headaches" but insisting "it is not very serious...relative to other injuries I have seen".

Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last month that the service members suffering from traumatic brain injuries had been diagnosed with mild cases.

"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", Farah said, "which has enabled almost 70 percent of those diagnosed to return to duty". "Our efforts must address the total picture - before, during and after any blast exposure or injury".

The leader of the elite Quds Force had pursued "stability and calm in the region", Hassan Rouhani said on Monday in a speech broadcast live on state TV. Regarding how he reports internally on suspicions of brain injuries and if they are treated publicly with the same urgency as the loss of a limb or life.

Still, Iranian officials have continued to threaten further attacks to avenge Soleimani's death.

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