The United States on Friday acknowledged it had treated 11 of its troops for symptoms of concussion after an Iranian missile attack on an Ain Al-Assad base where US forces were stationed on January 8. The attack was in response to a US drone strike in Baghdad on January 3 which killed Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
16 US military men with injuries sustained during Iran’s retaliatory missile strikes on Ain Al-Assad base earlier this month have been taken to a hospital in camp Arifjan in Ahmed al-Jaber airbase in Kuwait, a leading Kuwaiti newspaper disclosed on Sunday.
Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas yesterday claimed 16 servicemen had suffered burns and shrapnel wounds, and were being treated at a hospital in camp Arifjan in Ahmed al-Jaber airbase in Kuwait.
The report claimed the troops had undergone surgery and were being kept in ICU.
Mr Trump had previously said there were no casualties after the strike on the Ain al-Asad air base, in western Iraq, as well as a separate facility in the country’s northern Kurdish region.
Captain Bill Urban, spokesman for US Central Command, said: “While no US service members were killed in the January 8 Iranian attack on Al Asad air base, several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed.”
As a measure of caution, some had been taken to US facilities in Germany or Kuwait for “follow-on screening,” he said.
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Speaking after the raids, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Ali Hajizadeh claimed “tens of US troops have likely been killed and wounded and were transferred to Israel and Jordan on nine sorties of C-130 flights”.
State news agency Fars reported him as saying had Iran intended to target US forces directly, it could killed 500 US military men in the first wave and between 4,000 and 5,000 others in the second and third phases within 48 hours.
In a Friday prayers sermon in Tehran, Iran’s religious leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei described Mr Trump as a “clown” who pretended to support Iranian citizens but would instead push a “poisonous dagger” into their backs.
The Ayatollah described the raids as “a slap across the face” for the United States.
He added: “Military moves like this are not enough.
“The Americans’ corruption-stirring presence should come to an end.”
Mr Trump hit back in the following day, tweeting: “The so-called ‘Supreme Leader’ of Iran, who has not been so Supreme lately, had some nasty things to say about the United States and Europe.
“Their economy is crashing, and their people are suffering.
“He should be very careful with his words!”