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Pentagon Admit: Now 109 US Troops Suffered ‘Brain Injuries’ in Iran Missile Strike


Media outlets visit one of the many impact sites created by the recent missile attacks at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Jan. 13, 2020. (U.S. Army/Spc. Derek Mustard/Source: Military.com)

According to new reports, it is said that over 100 U.S. service persons have been diagnosed with “traumatic brain injuries” following the January 8 Iranian missile strike on the U.S. al-Assad military base in Anbar province Iraq.

On Monday the Pentagon released a statement confirming that 109 U.S. military personnel have been diagnosed with head injuries – a sharp increase from the previous admission which said that some 64 service members had been suffered injuries.

Officials says that nearly 70% of the injured have already returned to duty.

However, analysts remain confused by the inconsistency of U.S. claims surrounding its recent series of exchanges with Iran in this important historical chain of events.

Axios reports…

Why it matters: The development, first reported by Reuters, is a significant jump from the 50 cases the Pentagon disclosed in late January — and more than triple the number disclosed in the immediate aftermath of the strike.

  • Traumatic brain injuries are not always detected immediately, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Pentagon spokesperson Thomas Campbell indicated in January that the numbers could increase.
  • Of the 109 troops diagnosed, 76 service members have returned to duty.

Yes, but: President Trump said that the injuries suffered by soldiers in the attack, which was a response to a U.S. strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, weren’t very serious — and brushed them off as “headaches.”

  • That comment prompted the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the nation’s largest veterans group, to ask Trump to apologize for minimizing the injuries.

What they’re saying:

“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. 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.” — Pentagon press secretary Alyssa Farah

***

It’s also important to note that initial Iranian media reports stated that the Iranian strike had killed over 80 U.S. troops in the attack.

“An informed source at the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said over 80 American troops were killed and some 200 wounded in the IRGC’s missile strikes on the US airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq,” said Mehr News at the time – a claim which we can now see was at least partially true.

At the time, the Trump administration had responded that ‘all was well’ and that there were “no U.S. casualties” – a claim which we now know to be patently false.

Considering the inconsistency in statements coming from Washington and this latest admission of 109 U.S. casualties, it should really call into question any and all U.S. claims about these incidents.

Other False Claims by U.S.

This latest news also comes on the heels of the recent revelation that U.S. claims of a supposed “Iranian militia” Katieb Hezbollah (in reality, this would’ve been an Iraqi military PMU unit) that had fired a rocket into the “K1” joint-base near Kirkuk on Dec. 27, 2019, allegedly on the orders of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, was also false. U.S. had claimed that this alleged “Iranian attack” had claimed the life of a then unnamed US defense contractor. Much later, he was revealed as Narwas Hamid, an Iraqi-born Muslim translator and recently naturalized US citizen. So did a PMU faction fire the rocket in question? More likely, according to Iraqi military officials, this rogue rocket attack was the work of an ISIS cell which was widely reported to have been operating in the area. This is an important detail, not least of all because this initial claim by Washington provided the pretext for the U.S. aggression which followed, bringing the US, Iran and the region dangerously close to a wider war.

Before this, it was also admitted by U.S. officials that there was no specific intelligence that Iranian General Qasem Soleimani had organized Iraqi protests against the US Embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone on January 31, 2019, or that he was plotting “imminent attacks” on U.S. facilities in the region. This alleged ‘intelligence’ was the supposed justification for the Trump Administration’s double assassination of Soleimani and Iraqi military leader Abu Mahdi al Mouhendis on January 3, 2020, an act of aggression which prompted the Iraqi Parliament to demand U.S troops leave their country but which the U.S. has so far failed to comply.

Thus far, the U.S. has not been able to back-up any of their claims. FactCheck.org summarizes Washington’s failures on this issue:

Initially, Trump administration officials said Soleimani was planning an “imminent attack” against U.S. service members and diplomats without providing any evidence or offering any details. “We don’t know precisely when and we don’t know precisely where — but it was real,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a Jan. 9 interview.

Over the course of two days, Jan. 9 and Jan. 10, the president escalated the imminent threats posed by Soleimani with new details — but no evidence — that even members of Congress were not given in their classified briefings.

On Jan. 9, Trump told reporters Soleimani was threatening to “blow up” the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, and later told his supporters at a political rally that Soleimani “was looking very seriously at our embassies and not just the embassy in Baghdad.” A day later, Trump told Fox News, “I can reveal that I believe it would have been four embassies.”

But, in the Fox News interview, Trump hedged his revelations with the words “I believe” and “I think.” He went on in that interview to say, “I think it would have been four embassy, could have been military bases, could have been a lot of other things too.”

Two days later, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he “didn’t see” any intelligence that indicated the Iranians would attack four embassies. He also said the president was merely expressing his belief that there “could have been attacks against additional embassies.”

Trump responded on Twitter by saying it “doesn’t really matter” if a “future attack by terrorist Soleimani was ‘imminent’ or not” because of Soleimani’s “horrible past,” which the U.S. has said includes “the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members” during the Iraq war.

Again, Trump administration officials have been unable confirm any of President or Cabinet officials’ assertions or claims regarding Soleimani and Iran, while simultaneous claiming that Trump’s ‘interpretation of the threat’ was somehow consistent with their “strong intelligence assessment”, thus justifying U.S. aggression against both Iran and Iraq.

No doubt, this story will continue to unravel.

READ MORE IRAN NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Iran Files

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