The Obama administration will no longer disclose when United States troops are wounded fighting the Islamic State, reversing a policy from doing so as soon as three weeks ago.
Pentagon Spokesman Peter Cook said information would still be provided on service-members killed in action in remarks to reporters at the Pentagon Tuesday. But he refused to confirm or deny repeated recent reports of four U.S. special operations troops wounded by an anti-tank missile in northern Syria.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis had previously confirmed a U.S. special operations injury on May 31. When Davis confirmed the injury he insisted the injury was sustained in “active combat.”
“We do not provide information on wounded service members, and we’re going to continue to stick to that, again, because we don’t want to provide information to the enemy that might be helpful,” Cook said at the press conference.
The Obama administration has repeatedly obfuscated the size and scope of the U.S. mission in Iraq and Syria. The administration has repeatedly claimed a cap of 3870 troops in Iraq. In March reports surfaced that the Obama administration was temporarily rotating troops in and out of Iraq, inflating the actual number of troops in Iraq to nearly 5000.
Congressman Mac Thornberry, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, called the administrations troop cap “artificial” and suggested temporary rotations may be dangerous to U.S. troops on the battlefield. Thornberry suggested the temporary troops had less training and familiarity with the battlefield, leaving them more susceptible to attack and injury.
Following these revelations Pentagon officials have refused to confirm the number of troops in Iraq, but insist the number is below the official force cap. “People come through on a temporary basis and go above and below the force cap all the time, but we remain under our force cap,” Col. Steve Warren told reporters in March.
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