Middle East Monitor:

A leading Arabic-language newspaper in Kuwait reported yesterday that 16 US servicemen were transferred to a US military hospital in Kuwait following Iran’s retaliatory missile attack against the Ain Al-Assad Air Base in Iraq earlier this month. Some of the casualties were suffering from severe burns and others had shrapnel wounds. The Iranian air strikes targeted two sites in response to the US assassination of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on 3 January.

Al-Qabas quoted informed sources saying that the troops had been flown into a hospital at Camp Arjifan in Ahmed Al-Jaber Air Base under tight security. The source added that the injured soldiers have undergone surgery and are being kept in the ICU at the hospital.

According to the daily newspaper, several other US troops who received minor injuries in the Iranian responses are being treated in Iraq.

Last week the Pentagon revealed that at least 11 US personnel were injured in the same incident and had been flown to medical facilities, suggesting that they were undergoing precautionary screening for concussion. Eight had apparently been taken to Germany whilst three had been flown to Camp Arjifan. It is not clear if these include the 16 reported yesterday.

The statement by US Central Command contradicted US President Donald Trump, who announced on Twitter a day after the attack that, “No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties.”

Iranian officials have maintained that the US lost at least 80 soldiers with up to 200 wounded in the attack. At least a dozen ballistic missiles were fired at Al-Assad base and a base in Erbil.

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