The US military has disclosed that more than 50% of its soldiers in Iraq are suffering from traumatic brain injury stemming from Iran’s missile attack on a base in Iraq.
Disclosing this on Monday, the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the official announcement, said there were over 100 cases of TBI, up from the 64 previously reported last month.
Confirming the announcement, Army General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, “Last month, the service members suffering from traumatic brain injuries had been diagnosed with mild cases.”
He added that the diagnosis could change as time went on.
Symptoms of concussive injuries include headaches, dizziness, sensitivity to light and nausea.
Pentagon officials have repeatedly disclosed tgat there has been no effort to minimize or delay information on the injuries. But the disclosures following Tehran’s attack has renewed questions over the US military’s policy regarding how it internally reports suspected brain injuries and whether they are treated publicly with the same urgency as loss of limb or life.
US President Donald Trump appeared to play down the brain injuries last month, saying he “heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things” following the attack, prompting criticism from lawmakers and a US veterans group.
Various health and medical groups for years have been trying to raise awareness about the seriousness of brain injuries, including concussions.
Since 2000, about 408,000 service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, according to Pentagon data.