Pentagon: No Attempt Made to Underplay Casualties in January 8 Iran Attack

Esper only just found out about the injuries too

Pentagon officials denied that they made any effort to downplay or delay the revelation of American military casualties in the January 8 Iranian missile strike on the Ayn al-Asad airbase in Iraq.

President Trump reported on January 8 that there were no American casualties, and this was the official story for over a week. On Thursday, the Pentagon confirmed that 11 US troops had actually been taken out of Iraq for treatment for possible concussions related to the strike.

There was no explanation for the eight solid days between the incident and the Pentagon having casualties figures. They insist that not only were they not trying to hide them, but that Defense Secretary Mark Esper only found out about them a few hours before the American public did.

It is hard to imagine this as an oversight, considering it was a high-profile attack, and 11 concussed US soldiers don’t just get sent to Kuwait and/or Germany without someone knowing about it. The lack of knowledge at the top would almost have to be a conscious decision not to hear about them.

It isn’t hard to see why, with the administration choosing to deescalate with Iran after the attack that they would just as soon not make the casualties public at the time.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.