The Pentagon has confirmed that 34 US soldiers have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries (TBI), following the Iranian missile attack on January 8, 2020. The American president had said that no soldier in the American army had been injured. This statement was possibly meant to justify his decision not to strike back against Iran. It was widely expected that President Trump would order some retaliation after 22 Iranian missiles hit two bases in Iraq which housed US troops. Reuters have now reported that the statement of Donald Trump appears to be wrong and 34 US troops have been treated or admitted to hospital after the missile attack.

Soleimani

Iran had promised to avenge the death of its leader in Iraq, General Soleimani in an American drone attack. The US President claimed that this was a preventive strike as general Soleimani was hatching several plans to attack American installations in Iraq. The Iranians carried out their threat and were able to launch 22 missiles against two US bases. After the attack, Donald Trump claimed that no US servicemen suffered any injury and as such, there was no need to retaliate to the Iranian provocation.

Injuries

The Pentagon has belied the US president's claim. CNN reported that on Friday defense department spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters that eight soldiers who were affected have been sent back to the United States for further treatment while another nine have been sent to Germany. He further added that 16 US soldiers were treated in Iraq and one in Kuwait and all 17 had now returned to active duty.

The US president who is attending the world economic forum in Davos in Switzerland was asked about the apparent discrepancy. The President replied that he had heard that some soldiers had headaches and a couple of other minor ailments and this was not a serious matter.

The news that 34 US soldiers have been affected because of the missile attack has not been appreciated by many organizations. The Veterans of America, a non-profit organization has asked the Trump administration why it was taking so long to reveal the number and extent of casualties.

TBI is also classified as a concussion and affects troops in a battle zone. The common cause for this is the effect of an explosive blast.

American reaction

America's failure to react to the Iranian attack is difficult to comprehend. Besides that, on Friday, January 10, thousands of Iraqis carried out a protest march against the presence of US troops in their country. The President's claim that Iranian missiles did not lead to any injury to any American soldier is not correct. The soldiers were aware that an attack would come and had taken precautionary measures yet the effect of the blasts created by the missiles affected the health of some US troops.

Effect of the Iranian attack

Iran fired 22 missiles and it will be wrong to say that they did not affect anyone. Pictures show that many installations were hit and destroyed. Besides, if 34 soldiers suffered TBI, nobody can say that the missile attack was nothing much. President Trump is embroiled in a trial for impeachment and, at this critical juncture, he seems unable to give a fitting reply to the Iranian challenge.

Last word

One will have to wait and see how things pan out in the days and weeks to come. Iran is not likely to back down. America could be rueing its folly in removing Saddam Hussein who was a bulwark against Iran and Islamic extremism.

During his election campaign, the president had appreciated Saddam's efforts in countering extremism.

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