11 US soldiers have been evacuated from Iraq with concussion symptoms after Iran's missile strike

dchoi@businessinsider.com (David Choi)
Al Asad al-Asad US base hit by Iran missile strike aftermath January 2020

AP Photo/Qassim Abdul-Zahra

  • Eleven US troops stationed at one of the Iraqi military bases hit by an Iranian missile strike were taken out of Iraq for medical treatment.
  • A US military spokesman said the soldiers were taken to hospitals in Kuwait and Germany with concussion symptoms.
  • They are expected to come back to Iraq and continue serving after treatment, a statement said.
  • It gives a more checkered picture of the Iranian attack than previous statements that the US had not suffered any casualties.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Eleven US troops from one of the two Iraqi military bases hit by an Iranian missile strike have been evacuated to military hospitals with concussion symptoms, the US said Thursday.

The service members were transported from Al Asad Air Base in Iraq with symptoms of traumatic brain injury and "out of an abundance of caution," according to a statement by US Central Command.

The news was first reported by DefenseOne. Of the 11 troops removed from service, eight were taken to a facility in Germany and three to one in Kuwait.

A statement from Bill Urban, a Navy captain and Central Command spokesman, said all the soldiers were expected to return to service in Iraq.

He said they displayed concussion symptoms after mandatory screenings given to everybody near a blast and were sent to the hospitals for further screening.

Al Asad al-Asad Iraq base damage aftermath Iran missile strike January 2020

AP Photo/Qassim Abdul-Zahra

The news came eight days after Iran launched a barrage of missiles against two bases. Of the 16 missiles that were fired against US targets, 11 landed at Al Asad, which is west of Baghdad.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, the US military reported it suffered no casualties — a term that covers both troops who are killed and those who are badly injured.

President Donald Trump told the media that "no Americans were harmed" in the attack — an assessment that does not align with the news of the 11 transported soldiers.

Iran fired the missiles in retaliation for the drone strike that killed the elite Quds Force paramilitary commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani days earlier.

The killing of Soleimani, who was responsible for arming proxy forces who fought the US, was a part of a long series of escalatory actions between the US and Iran.

Following the Iranian missile attack, both Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appeared to call for deescalation.

"Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned," Trump said in a speech one day after the attack.

"The government is working daily to prevent military confrontation or war," Rouhani said in a televised speech.

Read the original article on Business Insider