The U.S. military on Feb. 10 disclosed a more than 50 percent jump in cases of traumatic brain injury stemming from Iran’s missile attack on a base in Iraq last month, with the number of service members diagnosed climbing to over 100.
No U.S. troops were killed or faced immediate bodily injury when Iran fired missiles at the Ain al-Asad base in Iraq in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike at the Baghdad airport on Jan. 3.
The missile attacks capped a spiral of violence that had started in late December. Both sides have refrained from further military escalation, but the mounting number of U.S. casualties could increase scrutiny on the Trump administration’s approach to Iran.
Reuters was first to report earlier on Feb. 10 that there were over 100 cases of TBI, up from the 64 previously reported last month.
The Pentagon, in a statement, confirmed that so far 109 U.S. service members had been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury. It added that 76 of them had returned to duty.
The U.S. military in the past had said to expect an increase in numbers in the weeks after the attack because symptoms can take time to manifest and troops can sometimes take longer to report them.