Biden says US ‘shall respond’ after drone strike by Iran-backed group kills 3 US troops in Jordan

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — President Joe Biden stated Sunday that the U.S. “shall respond” after three American troops were killed and dozens extra had been injured in an in a single day drone strike in northeast Jordan close to the Syrian border. Biden blamed Iran-backed militias for the primary U.S. fatalities after months of strikes by such teams towards American forces throughout the Middle East because the begin of the Israel-Hamas war.

Biden, who was touring in South Carolina, requested for a second of silence throughout an look at a Baptist church’s banquet corridor.

“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. After the moment of silence, Biden added, “and we shall respond.”

With an increasing risk of military escalation in the area, U.S. officers had been working to conclusively establish the exact group accountable for the assault, however they’ve assessed that considered one of a number of Iranian-backed teams was behind it.

Biden stated in a written assertion 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 stated “we are going to take all mandatory actions to defend the United States, our troops, and our pursuits.”

Iran-backed fighters in east Syria started evacuating their posts, fearing U.S. airstrikes, in response to Omar Abu Layla, a Europe-based activist who heads the Deir Ezzor 24 media outlet. He informed The Associated Press that the areas are the strongholds of Mayadeen and Boukamal.

U.S. Central Command stated at the least 34 troops had been injured by the one-way assault drone, with eight flown out of Jordan for follow-up care. It described the eight as being in secure situation.

The massive drone struck a logistics help base in Jordan often known as Tower 22. It is alongside the Syrian border and is used largely by troops concerned in the advise-and-assist mission for Jordanian forces.

Central Command stated roughly 350 U.S. Army and Air Force personnel had been deployed to the bottom. The three who had been killed and a lot of the wounded had been Army troopers, in response to a number of U.S. officers, who spoke on situation of anonymity to present particulars not but made public.

The small set up, which Jordan doesn’t publicly disclose, consists of U.S. engineering, aviation, logistics and safety troops. Austin stated the troops had been deployed there “to work for the lasting defeat of ISIS.” Three officers stated the drone struck close to the troops’ sleeping quarters, which they stated defined the excessive casualty depend.

The U.S. navy base at al-Tanf in Syria is simply 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Tower 22. The Jordanian set up offers a crucial logistical hub for U.S. forces in Syria, together with these at al-Tanf, which is close to the place the borders of Iraq, Syria and Jordan intersect.

In a press release on Jordan’s state-run Petra information company, the nation “condemned the terrorist attack” that focused the U.S. troops. That report described the drone strike as concentrating on “an outpost on the border with Syria” and stated it didn’t wound any Jordanian troops.

“Jordan will continue to counter terrorism and the smuggling of drugs and weapons across the Syrian border into Jordan, and will confront with firmness and determination anyone who attempts to attack the security of the kingdom,” the assertion attributed to Muhannad Mubaidin, a authorities spokesman, stated.

U.S. troops lengthy have used Jordan, a kingdom bordering Iraq, Israel, the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, Saudi Arabia and Syria, as a basing level. Some 3,000 American troops usually are stationed throughout Jordan.

Since the battle in Gaza started Oct. 7, Iranian-backed militias have struck American navy installations in Iraq greater than 60 occasions and in Syria greater than 90 occasions, with a mixture of drones, rockets, mortars and ballistic missiles. The assault Sunday was the primary concentrating on American troops in Jordan throughout the Israel-Hamas battle and the primary to consequence in the lack of American lives. Scores of U.S. personnel have been wounded, together with some with traumatic mind accidents, throughout the assaults.

The militias have stated that their strikes are in retaliation for Washington’s help for Israel in the battle in Gaza and that they goal to push U.S. forces out of the area.

On Monday, Iran’s overseas ministry dismissed the U.S. accusation that Tehran was behind the drone strike,” in response to the official IRNA information company. It quoted ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani as saying that the “Islamic Republic of Iran has no role in decisions by resistance groups on how they support the Palestinian nation or defend their people.”

Iran, Kanaani stated, is carefully watching developments in the area and careworn that the “responsibility for the consequences of provocative accusations against Iran will be on those who raise the baseless allegations.”

The U.S. in current months has struck targets in Iraq, Syria and Yemen to answer assaults on American forces in the area and to discourage Iran-backed Houthi rebels from persevering with to threaten business delivery in the Red Sea.

“I am confident the Biden Administration will respond in a deliberate and proportional manner,” stated Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Republicans in Congress stated the administration’s strategy had failed to discourage America’s adversaries in the area.

“We need a major reset of our Middle East policy to protect our national security interests,” stated Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., went additional, urging the administration “to strike targets of significance inside Iran, not only as reprisal for the killing of our forces, but as deterrence against future aggression. The only thing the Iranian regime understands is force.”

Biden, who was in Columbia, South Carolina, on Sunday, was briefed in the morning by Austin, nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan, and principal deputy nationwide safety adviser Jon Finer, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated. In the afternoon, he met nearly with Vice President Kamala Harris and his nationwide safety group for an replace.

The president, in the written assertion, known as it a “despicable and wholly unjust attack” and stated the service members had been “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 we will not cease.”

Syria continues to be in the midst of a civil battle and lengthy has been a launch pad for Iranian-backed forces there, together with the Lebanese militia Hezbollah. Iraq has a number of Iranian-backed Shiite militias working there as properly.

Jordan, a staunch Western ally and a vital energy in Jerusalem for its oversight of holy websites there, is suspected of launching airstrikes in Syria to disrupt drug smugglers, together with one which killed 9 individuals earlier this month.

An umbrella group for Iran-backed factions often known as the Islamic Resistance in Iraq earlier claimed launching explosive drone assaults concentrating on three areas in Syria, in addition to one inside “occupied Palestine.” The group has claimed duty for dozens of assaults towards bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria because the Israel-Hamas battle started.

Three officers with Iran-backed militias in Iraq, who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to debate the matter with journalists, stated the drone assault towards the bottom in Jordan was launched by one of many Iraqi teams. No faction has but formally claimed duty.

Officials stated the U.S. navy isn’t monitoring another assaults on its forces Sunday in the area.


Baldor reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran; Bassem Mroue and Abby Sewell in Beirut; Qassim Abdul-Zahra in Baghdad; Omar Akour in Amman, Jordan, and Jon Gambrell in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

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