Days after President Donald Trump and the US military denied claims of casualties after an Iranian missile attack on Iraqi air base on January 8 in retaliation over the killing of the commander of its Revolutionary Guard Qasem Soleimani, the US Central Command has admitted that it treated 11 of its troops for symptoms of concussion.
It was reported that over 1,500 US soldiers at the base were tucked away in bunkers, after advance warning from superiors before the attack.
In his speech on 8 January responding to the strike, Trump said:
“The American people should be extremely grateful and happy no Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties, all of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases.”
However on Thursday January 16, US Central Command spokesman Captain Bill Urban disclosed that some American soldiers have been treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed.
He said: “While no US service members were killed in the Jan 8 Iranian attack on Al Asad air base, several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed.”
The statement further revealed that some service members were taken to US facilities in Germany or Kuwait for “follow-on screening”. It added;
“Out of an abundance of caution, service members were transported from Al Asad Air Base, Iraq to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for follow-on screening. When deemed fit for duty, the service members are expected to return to Iraq following screening.”
Capt. Bill Urban said eight soldiers were transported to Germany and three were sent to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait.
Urban said: “As a standard procedure, all personnel in the vicinity of a blast are screened for traumatic brain injury, and if deemed appropriate are transported to a higher level of care.”
JUST IN: Israel Confirms Its First Case Of Coronavirus
The virus was confirmed in a citizen who flew home from Japan earlier this week after being quarantined on the stricken cruise ship Diamond Princess.
“One of the passengers who returned home from the cruise ship in Japan tested positive in a checkup by the health ministry’s central laboratory,” a ministry statement said.
The statement added that the other dozen Israeli passengers who had flown home had all tested negative.
BREAKING: Two Test Positive For Coronavirus In Iran
Two people in Iran tested positive Wednesday for the deadly new coronavirus, the health ministry said in the Islamic republic’s first cases of the disease.
Kianoush Jahanpour, a ministry spokesman, said the cases were detected in the holy city of Qom, south of the Iranian capital.
“In the past two days, some suspect cases of the new coronavirus were observed in Qom city,” he said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.
“Teams were dispatched after receiving the reports, and based on the existing protocols the suspect cases were isolated and tested,” said Jahanpour.
“Out of the samples sent, a laboratory tested two of them as positive for coronavirus just minutes ago and some of the other samples were type B influenza.”
The health ministry spokesman said additional tests were being done on the two cases and final results would be announced “as soon as possible”.
The new coronavirus epidemic has killed more than 2,000 people in China and infected more than 74,000. It has spread to at least two dozen countries.
The United Arab Emirates was the first country in the Middle East to report cases of coronavirus last month.
Why Trump Doesn’t Want War With Us — Iran’s President Rouhani
Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani has stated that he doesn’t believe Trump wants a war with his country as it will ”affect his re-election prospects.”
According to Rouhani, the US’ maximum pressure sanctions against Iran has failed, and the Iranian regime will only renegotiate with the US if crippling sanctions against Iran are removed and the US rejoins the 2015 Iran Nuclear deal negotiated by Obama but exited by Trump in 2018.
The Iranian leader added that war would be harmful to U.S. interests and those of its regional allies like Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as Iran.
“I think the Americans aren’t after war since they know what harm it could do them,” said Rouhani in a news conference.
Rouhani said that Persian Gulf nations like the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar stood a lot to lose if conflict between Iran and the U.S. turns to war.
‘Talks could take place if the U.S. were to scrap damaging economic sanctions and reinstate commitments made in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action negotiated by the Obama administration between Iran and global powers’, Rouhani said.
Rouhani also said he didn’t care who won the next US elections.
“We will never sit at the negotiating table with a weak position,” Rouhani said.
U.S.-Iranian relations have been strained for a while resulting in the early-January U.S. drone strike ordered by Trump that killed Iran’s general, Qassem Soleimani to which Iran responded with airstrikes on Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops which left scores of soldiers with brain injuries.