Dec 9, 2021 - World

Army to award Purple Hearts to troops injured in Iran missile attack

Damage at Ain al-Asad military airbase housing US and other foreign troops in the western Iraqi province of Anbar Jan. 13, 2020.
Damage at Ain al-Asad military airbase housing U.S. and other foreign troops in the western Iraqi province of Anbar in January 2020. Photo: Ayman Henna/AFP via Getty Images

The Army has approved 39 more Purple Hearts for U.S. soldiers wounded in an Iranian military ballistic missile attack on an Iraq base in January 2020, the Army Times first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Most of these soldiers sustained brain injuries, per the Army Times. Then-President Trump dismissed their injuries at the time as "headaches" and "not very serious," sparking backlash from some veterans groups.

The big picture: The missiles were in retaliation for the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq in early January 2020.

  • No American soldier was killed in the Iranian attack, but many sustained traumatic brain injuries and 23 of these were later awarded purple hearts, CBS News notes.
  • The Army's Human Resources command has now approved a further 39 Purple Heart submissions following a review.

What they're saying: "They continue to review an additional 11 nominations, which will be decided on the individual merits," said Army spokesman Lt. Col. Gabriel Ramirez in an emailed statement.

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