Three US soldiers killed in drone attack in Jordan


Three U.S. service members were killed in Jordan on Sunday and 25 others were wounded in what the Biden administration said was a drone strike by an Iranian-backed militia, the first U.S. military deaths from hostile fire after the war. Israel in Gaza.

The attack occurred at a base in northeastern Jordan, near the Syrian border, where troops were based. Other details were not immediately available from the Pentagon’s Central Command, which issued a brief initial statement on Sunday.

But the deaths of US service members will almost certainly put more pressure on President Biden to respond more forcefully as turmoil grows in the Middle East after the October 7 attacks that killed 1,200 people in Israel. .

“Three U.S. service members were killed, and many wounded, during an unmanned airstrike against our forces stationed in northeastern Jordan, near the Syrian border,” Biden said in a statement Sunday. “While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iranian-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq.”

The drone attack came as Israel and Hezbollah, another Iranian ally, exchanged fire across the Lebanese border. A Houthi militia in Yemen, also backed by Iran, has fired missiles and drones at commercial ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, calling it retaliation for the Israeli bombing of Gaza. The United States and its allies have counterattacked, striking several times inside Yemen.

And last Saturday, at least four U.S. service members stationed in western Iraq were injured when their air base came under intense rocket and missile attack by what U.S. officials said were Iranian-backed militias. It was the latest of more than 150 attacks by Iranian-backed militias in Syria and Iraq against U.S. troops there since the Oct. 7 attacks.

The United States has about 2,000 troops stationed at an air base in Azraq, Jordan, as well as Special Operations forces, military trainers and support staff for the US base in Al Tanf, Syria. American troops are there largely to assist in regional efforts to eradicate the remnants of the Islamic State.

In his statement, Biden called U.S. troops in Jordan “patriots in the highest sense” and said they were “risking their own safety for the safety of their fellow Americans and our allies and partners with whom we stand in the fight.” against terrorism. It is a fight that we will not stop.”

Last Sunday, the Pentagon declared two Navy SEALs dead after they disappeared 10 days earlier during an operation at sea to intercept Iranian weapons aimed at Houthi fighters.

They were the first known American deaths in Washington’s campaign against the Houthis, who have launched dozens of attacks on ships in the Red Sea since November, roiling the global shipping industry.

The Americans killed Sunday were the first known fatalities from hostile fire in Yemen, Iraq or surrounding areas and waters.

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