Drone attack killed three US soldiers in Jordan
Three American service members were killed yesterday in Jordan and at least 34 others were wounded in what the United States said was a drone attack by an Iranian-backed militia. The deaths were the first U.S. military casualties from hostile fire in the turmoil that spilled over from Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza.
The attack occurred at a base near the Syrian border. The deaths of U.S. service members will almost certainly put more pressure on President Biden to respond more forcefully as turmoil in the Middle East grows.
“While we are still assembling the facts of this attack, we know that it was carried out by radical Iranian-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” Biden said in a statement.
This month, at least four American service members stationed in western Iraq were injured when their base was attacked by what the United States said were Iranian-backed militias. A week ago, the United States declared two Navy SEALs dead after they went missing during an operation at sea to intercept weapons aimed at Houthi fighters, who have fired on commercial ships off Yemen since November.
New details on UN workers accused of helping Hamas
The UN said on Friday it had fired several employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the UN agency that helps Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, after Israel claimed that 12 employees served a role in the Hamas attacks against Israel on October 7. or in its aftermath. Israel provided a dossier to the United States detailing its claims, but little was known about the allegations until The Times reviewed the documents yesterday.
A person was accused of kidnapping a woman. Another is said to have distributed ammunition. A third party was described as participating in the kibbutz massacre where 97 people died.
The Israelis described 10 of the employees as Hamas members, and seven of the defendants were also teachers at UNRWA schools, teaching students subjects such as mathematics and Arabic. The filing said Israel tracked and monitored many of the accused employees through their phones.
Fall: The United States and several other countries said yesterday that they would suspend some funding for UNRWA. UN chief António Guterres implored major donor countries to continue their support. He said that without it, UNRWA would run out of money next month. Fears of famine are growing in the enclave, and two million Gazans depend on the agency for food, water and essential services.
Three African boards left a regional economic bloc
The military junta that seized power in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso said they were withdrawing from the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, because of sanctions the group imposed after coups.
The three boards said the sanctions were “inhumane” and that the bloc had “become a threat to its member states and its people.” West African commentators said the countries’ departure could affect trade relations and regional stability, and cause pain to the bloc’s 12 remaining member states.
Background: In recent years, coups have broken out in an area south of the Sahara, forming an unbroken strip of military-ruled countries stretching from coast to coast across the continent. ECOWAS failed to reverse some of these blows and subsequently imposed sanctions, causing intense hardship for millions of people.
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ARTS AND IDEAS
At Sundance, reasons to love cinema
Reporting from Park City, Utah, our chief film critic, Manohla Dargis, wrote that she felt transported to the Sundance Film Festival she always looks forward to, “the one where a film surprises me, moves me, and perhaps delights me.” ”.
The film in question, which brought the house down, is “Will & Harper,” a documentary in which actor Will Ferrell and his old friend Harper Steele, a trans woman, embark on a momentous cross-country journey of discovery.