June 16, 2024

Three US troops killed, as much as 34 injured in Jordan drone strike linked to Iran

Three U.S. service members have been killed and dozens could also be wounded after an unmanned aerial drone assault on U.S. forces stationed in northeastern Jordan close to the Syrian border, President Joe Biden and U.S. officers mentioned on Sunday.

Biden blamed Iran-backed teams for the assault, the primary lethal strike towards U.S. forces for the reason that Israel-Hamas conflict erupted in October and despatched shock waves all through the Center East.

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“Whereas we’re nonetheless gathering the info of this assault, we all know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant teams working in Syria and Iraq,” Biden mentioned in an announcement.

“Have little doubt – we’ll maintain all these accountable to account at a time and in a fashion of our selecting,” he mentioned.

Biden later requested for a second of silence for the three killed service members throughout a marketing campaign occasion in South Carolina, including, “We will reply.”

U.S. Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin echoed that menace. He and different senior officers briefed Biden earlier within the day on the assault.

A minimum of 34 personnel have been evaluated for potential traumatic mind damage, a U.S. official advised Reuters, talking on situation of anonymity. Two completely different officers mentioned some wounded U.S. forces have been medically evacuated from the bottom for additional remedy. One of many officers mentioned a small variety of these injured the place in crucial however secure situation.

Two U.S. officers mentioned the drone struck close to the barracks early within the morning, which might clarify the excessive variety of casualties.

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The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of hardline Iran-backed militant teams, claimed assaults on three bases, together with one on the Jordan-Syria border.

The assault is a significant escalation of the already tense state of affairs within the Center East, the place conflict broke out in Gaza after Palestinian Islamist group Hamas’ assault on Israel on Oct. 7 which killed 1,200. Israel’s subsequent assault on Gaza has killed over 26,000 Palestinians, based on the native well being ministry.

Since then, U.S. forces have come underneath assault greater than 150 occasions by Iran-backed teams in Iraq and Syria, inflicting not less than 70 casualties previous to Sunday’s assault, most of them traumatic mind accidents. U.S. warships have additionally been fired at by Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen, who’re repeatedly attacking business ships passing by way of Pink Sea waters off Yemen’s coast.

Whereas the USA has up to now maintained an official line that Washington just isn’t at conflict within the area, it has been retaliating towards the Iran-backed teams in Iraq and Syria and finishing up strikes towards Yemen’s Houthi navy capabilities.

Republican opponents of Biden seized on the assault as proof of the Democratic president’s failure to confront Iran as its proxies strike towards U.S. forces throughout the area.

“The one reply to those assaults should be devastating navy retaliation towards Iran’s terrorist forces … Something much less will affirm Joe Biden as a coward,” mentioned Republican Senator Tom Cotton in an announcement.

U.S. Senate Republican Chief Mitch McConnell mentioned Biden’s inaction was emboldening enemies of the USA within the Center East.

“The time to start out taking this aggression severely was lengthy earlier than extra courageous Individuals misplaced their lives,” McConnell mentioned.

A senior official with the Iran-backed Palestinian militant group Hamas, Sami Abu Zuhri, straight tied the assault to Israel’s marketing campaign in Gaza.

“The killing of three American troopers is a message to the U.S. administration that except the killing of innocents in Gaza stops, it should confront your complete nation,” he advised Reuters.

“The continued American-Zionist aggression on Gaza is able to exploding the state of affairs within the area.”

The U.S. navy mentioned the assault occurred at a base in northeastern Jordan, close to the Syrian border. It didn’t title the bottom, however an individual conversant in the matter recognized it as Tower 22 in Jordan.

U.S. navy exercise in Jordan generally is a delicate problem, notably at a time of heightened tensions as a result of Israel-Hamas battle, due to growing concern in Jordan in regards to the conflict spreading.

The Jordanian authorities mentioned solely that the assault occurred at an “superior submit” alongside its border with Syria.

Late final 12 months, Amman requested Washington to deploy Patriot air protection techniques to bolster its border protection.

It has requested extra support to deal with drones utilized in a raging multibillion-dollar drug conflict alongside the border with Syria, which Amman blames on pro-Iranian militias who maintain sway in southern Syria.

The dominion has lots of of U.S. trainers within the nation and holds in depth workouts with U.S. troops all year long.