More U.S. troops leave Iraq over potential injuries as Trump downplays brain risk
By Alexandra Alper and Idrees Ali DAVOS, Switzerland/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he did not consider the brain injuries suffered by 11 U.S.
By Alexandra Alper and Idrees Ali
DAVOS, Switzerland/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he did not consider the brain injuries suffered by 11 U.S. service members in Iran's recent attack on a base in Iraq to be serious, as the American military moved more troops out of the region for potential injuries.
In a statement on Wednesday, U.S. Central Command said that more troops had been flown out of Iraq to Germany for medical evaluations following Iran's Jan. 8 missile attack on the base where U.S. forces were stationed after announcing the 11 injuries last week.
Further injuries may be identified in the future, it added, without giving further details.
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said about a dozen troops were being transported to Germany.
Trump and other top officials initially said Iran's attack had not killed or injured any U.S. service members before the Pentagon reversed course on Thursday, saying 11 U.S. troops had been treated for concussion symptoms after the attack on the Ain al-Asad air base in western Iraq.
On Wednesday, Trump declined to explain the discrepancy.
"I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say and I can report it is not very serious," Trump told a news conference in Davos, Switzerland.
Asked whether he considered traumatic brain injury to be serious, Trump said: "They told me about it numerous days later. You'd have to ask the Department of Defense."
Pentagon officials have said there had been no effort to minimize or delay information on concussive injuries, but its handling of the injuries following Tehran's attack has renewed questions over the U.S. military's policy regarding how it handles suspected brain injuries.
While the U.S. military has to immediately report incidents threatening life, limb or eyesight, it does not have an urgent requirement to do so with suspected traumatic brain injury, or TBI, which can take time to manifest and diagnose.
According to Pentagon data, about 408,000 service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury since 2000.
Various health and medial groups for years have been trying to raise awareness about the seriousness of brain injuries, including concussions.
"I don't consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries I have seen," Trump said. "I've seen people with no legs and no arms."
In Washington, a senior military official said that the number of U.S. troops who had been flown out of Iraq was in the "teens."
U.S. Air Force Major General Alex Grynkewich, deputy commander of the coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, added that while some counter-ISIS operations in Iraq had resumed, they were still on a limited scale.
(Reporting by Alexandra Alper in Davos and Idrees Ali in Washington; writing by Susan Heavey; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Rockets hit near U.S. forces and contractors in Iraq on Wednesday, including an air base north of Baghdad and a military base at Baghdad International Airport, the Iraqi army and security officials said. The army reported at least three rockets hit Balad air base, where U.S
By Silvia Ognibene and Silvia Aloisi FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) -Italian police have arrested a Chinese couple accused of running a leather goods business which exploited immigrant workers it employed to make handbags for a Burberry supplier, according to an arrest warrant seen by Reuters. Tax police in Florence said in a statement that the two Chinese nationals were arrested on Wednesday as part of an investigation into alleged labour exploitation and tax fraud and that restrictive measures had been imposed on two other family members, including a ban on them leaving Italy
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday blacklisted four Nicaraguans, including a daughter of President Daniel Ortega, as Washington warned it would continue to use diplomatic and economic tools against members of the leftist government engaged in repression. The U.S. State Department called on Ortega to release detained presidential candidates as well as other civil society and opposition leaders arrested over the past week in what Washington called "an increasing wave of repression." "There are costs for those who are complicit in the regime's repression.