President Donald Trump and other top officials initially said Iran’s Jan. 8 attack had not killed or injured any US service members.
“As of today, 50 US service members are diagnosed” with traumatic brain injury, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Thomas Campbell said during a statement about injuries within the attack on the Ain Al-Asad air station in western Iraq.
Symptoms of concussive injuries include headaches, dizziness, sensitivity to light and nausea.
Thirty-one of the 50 were treated in Iraq and returned to duty, including 15 of these diagnosed last, Campbell said.
Eighteen of the entire are sent to Germany for further evaluation and treatment, and one was sent to Kuwait and has since returned to duty, he said.
“This could be a snapshot in time and numbers can change,” Campbell said.
In its previous update on Friday, the Pentagon had put the quantity of these injured at 34.
Trump last week gave the impression to downplay the injuries, saying he “heard that that they had headaches and some of other things.”
That prompted criticism from a US war veterans group. William Schmitz, national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, said on Friday the group “expects an apology from the president to our service men and ladies for his misguided remarks.”
According to Pentagon data, about 408,000 service members are diagnosed with traumatic brain injury since 2000.
Iran fired missiles at Ain Al-Asad in retaliation for the US killing of a top Revolutionary Guard general, Qassem Soleimani, during a drone strike at Baghdad airport on Jan. 3.
The missile attacks capped a spiral of violence that had started in late December, and each side have done without further military escalation.