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2020.02.04 10:30

Lithuanian soldiers to undergo medical tests after Iran rocket attack

updated
LRT.lt 2020.02.04 10:30

Lithuanian soldiers will undergo “extensive” physical and mental health screenings once back in the country after Iran's rocket attack inflicted brain injuries on 50 US personnel.

Lithuanian troops “were not present” during the attack on the Al Assad or any other base, therefore they sustained “no physical injuries,” Andrius Dilda, a spokesman for the Lithuanian Defence Staff, told LRT English in a written comment.

The authorities received no request to provide “psychological or any other medical support,” he added. “However, the soldiers returning from the mission will undergo extensive physical and psychological health tests at the Lithuanian MIlitary Medical Service.”

Read more: Lithuanian troops left Iraq base seven hours before attack

American authorities confirmed that 50 of its troops sustained brain injuries that included concussions during Iran’s rocket attack on US and coalition bases in Iraq earlier this month.

“31 of the 50 were treated and had returned to duty,” Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Campbell said on January 28, according to Radio Free Europe (RFE). US military representatives said the soldiers may have suffered from concussions.

Initially, President Donald Trump claimed that no Americans were harmed, saying later he “heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things”.

The remarks angered a US war veterans group, according to RFE.

William Schmitz, national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, said on January 24 the group "expects an apology from the president to our service men and women for his misguided remarks".

Iran’s attack was in retaliation for the US killing of its top military commander, Major General Qasem Soleimani, in a drone strike at Baghdad airport on January 3.

There were some 1,500 US soldiers at the Al Asad base at the time of the attack. Most had been huddling in bunkers after being alerted about the incoming missiles.

Lithuanian troops left the base at the time of the attack and were safe, the Lithuanian Defence Ministry said earlier this month.

Read more: Iranian ambassador hopes Vilnius can sway US on nuclear deal

CORRECTION: The quote by Andrius Dilda was previously incorrectly identified as a statement by the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence.