The Pentagon revealed today that 34 U.S. service members have traumatic brain injuries caused by the Iranian attack on an Iraqi military base earlier this month.

Chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said that half of the members have returned back to duty, but seventeen remain “under medical investigation.”

From The Associated Press:

Hoffman’s disclosure that 34 had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, or TBI, was the first update on the number injured in Iran’s missile attack on Ain al-Asad air base in western Iraq since the Pentagon said on Jan. 17 that 11 service members had been flown out of Iraq with concussion-like symptoms. Days later, officials said more had been sent out of Iraq for further diagnosis and treatment, but the Pentagon did not provide firm figures on the total or say whether any had been returned to duty.

Hoffman said that of the 34 with TBI, 18 were evacuated from Iraq to U.S. medical facilities in Germany and Kuwait, and 16 stayed in Iraq. Seventeen of the 18 evacuees were sent to Germany, and nine remain there; the other eight have been transported to the United States for continued observation or treatment.

The one American sent to Kuwait has since returned to duty. All 16 of those who were diagnosed with TBI and remained in Iraq have since returned to duty, Hoffman said.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has tasked the department’s acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness Matthew Donovan to work with “the Joint Chiefs to review how military injuries are tracked and reported — not just TBI cases but battlefield injuries of all kinds, Hoffman told reporters.”


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