Biden Vows U.S. Response Following Iran-Backed Drone Strike that Kills 3 American Troops in Jordan



AP News

In a tragic incident on Sunday, three U.S. troops lost their lives, and 25 others were injured in a drone strike near the Syrian border in northeast Jordan. President Joe Biden, currently in South Carolina, expressed condolences and pointed the finger at Iran-backed militias for the attack, marking the first U.S. fatalities after months of strikes against American forces in the Middle East during the Israel-Hamas conflict.

During an appearance at a Baptist church’s banquet hall, Biden called for a moment of silence, acknowledging the loss. “We had a tough day last night in the Middle East. We lost three brave souls in an attack on one of our bases,” he said, emphasizing that the U.S. “shall respond.”

As the risk of military escalation looms, U.S. officials are working to identify the specific group responsible for the attack. Although no conclusive determination has been made, it is assessed that one of several Iranian-backed groups orchestrated the strike.

In a written statement, President Biden asserted that the United States “will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner [of] our choosing.” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin echoed this sentiment, stating that the U.S. would take all necessary actions to defend its troops and interests.

The drone strike targeted a military base known as Tower 22 in Jordan, near the Syrian border. The base serves as a crucial logistical hub for U.S. forces operating in Syria, particularly at the nearby al-Tanf base. Approximately 350 U.S. Army and Air Force personnel were deployed at Tower 22, with the casualties predominantly being Army soldiers.

Jordan condemned the attack through its state-run Petra news agency, emphasizing its commitment to counter terrorism and protect its borders. The U.S. military base at al-Tanf, just 20 kilometers north of Tower 22, plays a strategic role in the region.

The incident adds to the series of attacks by Iranian-backed militias during the Israel-Hamas war, with strikes occurring over 60 times in Iraq and 90 times in Syria against American military installations. This marks the first time American troops in Jordan have been targeted, resulting in casualties.

As the U.S. assesses its response, tensions in the region continue to escalate. President Biden, briefed by top security officials, is expected to navigate a measured and proportional course of action. Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress call for a reset of Middle East policy, while some advocate for stronger measures against Iran in response to the attack.

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