Three US military personnel were killed and more than 30 military personnel were injured In an overnight drone strike At a small US outpost in Jordan, US officials told CNN it was the first time US troops had been killed by enemy fire in the Middle East since the start of the Gaza war.
Three Americans were killed in Tower 22 in Jordan It is a significant escalation of an already dangerous situation in the Middle East near the border with Syria. Officials said the drone was launched by pro-Iranian fighters and appeared to have come from Syria.
Three service members were killed and 25 wounded in a one-way drone strike that “hit a base in northeastern Jordan,” US Central Command confirmed in a statement on Sunday. Two U.S. officials told CNN that the drone was struck near a residential area on the base, and that three injured service members were medically evacuated from the area.
The number of injured is expected to rise.
President Joe Biden on Sunday vowed to “hold to account” those responsible for the attack, saying that while facts were still being gathered, “we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq.”
“These service members are among our nation's finest: unwavering in their bravery. unwavering in their duty. unwavering in their commitment to our country — risking their own safety for the safety of fellow Americans and our allies and partners with whom we stand in the fight against terrorism. … [H]No doubt – we will hold all those responsible to account at once and in a manner of our choosing.
As of Friday, there had been more than 158 strikes against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq and Syria, though officials described the sustained barrage of drones, rockets and missiles as unsuccessful because they often did not cause serious injuries or damage infrastructure.
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It is not clear why air defense forces failed to intercept the drone in the first attack on Tower 22 since attacks on US and coalition forces began on October 17. US forces are there as part of an advise-and-assist role. Work with Jordan.
The US has taken several retaliatory actions against Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria. As recently as last week, when the United States struck three facilities in Iraq used by Hezbollah and other Iran-aligned groups. The US is also involved with the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen Many strikes – many unilaterally and some with the UK and other allies – Houthi missiles and drones, radar systems, storage facilities and more.
The Biden administration has been criticized, primarily by Republicans, for not taking strong enough action against attacks by pro-Iran groups. In a statement on Sunday following the news that three Americans had been killed, Sen. Lindsey Graham said the Biden administration's “deterrence policy against Iran has failed miserably.”
“The Biden administration can pull out all the Iranian proxies they want, but that won't stop Iranian aggression. I call on the Biden administration to strike critical targets inside Iran, not only as revenge for the killing of our troops, but also as a deterrent against future aggression,” Graham said.
Amid heightened tensions on multiple fronts in the region, US officials have repeatedly said they do not want to see tensions boil over into a regional war. Asked last week if the Pentagon assessed that Iranian proxies were stepping up their attacks on US forces, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said, “Not necessarily, not at all.”
In a pre-recorded interview with ABC News that aired Sunday morning, Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. CQ Brown said part of America's mission was to “make sure that things in the Middle East don't lead to conflict”. Expand.”
“The goal is to deter them, and we don't want to go down a path of over-escalation that leads to a much wider conflict within the region,” he said.
There have been dozens of injuries since the attacks began — a senior military official told reporters last week there were about 70 — but the Pentagon has classified most of them as minor, except for one American soldier who was seriously wounded in an attack in Iraq. Christmas day.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Garrett Illerbrunn He was flown back to the US for further treatment after being seriously injured in a drone strike at Erbil Air Force Base from the 82nd Combat Aviation Squadron.
The killing of three Americans is expected by the United States and Iraq Start the talks Soon about the future of the US military presence in the country.
This is a developing story and will be updated.