Five other service members have been “wounded in action” since the U.S. first sent troops back into Iraq last year, according to statistics from the Pentagon and interviews with officials in Iraq (PDF). But how and when they were injured, the Pentagon refuses to say.
As the Obama administration holds to the increasingly dubious claim that U.S. troops are not engaged in combat against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the Pentagon is withholding details about its wounded that would give key insights into the kind of fight American troops are facing in Iraq. Were any of the five shot by the Iraqi forces they are training? Did a mortar round shot at their base injure a soldier? Has ISIS wounded a U.S. service member?
According to U.S. Central Command, which oversees military action in the region, the details of the wounded are not available, despite repeated requests for such basic information. The only specifics available are from a Washington Post story, which reported the first service member was wounded in March, just south of Baghdad, while in a guard tower. He was struck in the face by bullet fragments, according to the report, while coming under enemy fire.