UNITED STATES NEWS

3 American troops dead and several wounded in drone attack by Iran-backed militia in Jordan

Jan 28, 2024, 11:30 AM | Updated: 2:20 pm

President Joe Biden speaks at St. John Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C., on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024. ...

President Joe Biden speaks at St. John Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C., on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Three American troops were killed and “many” were wounded Sunday in a drone strike in northeast Jordan near the Syrian border, President Joe Biden said. He blamed Iran-backed militias for the first U.S. fatalities after months of strikes by the groups against American forces across the Middle East amid the Israel-Hamas war.

With an increasing the risk of military escalation in the region, U.S. officials were working to conclusively identify the precise group responsible for the attack, but they have assessed that one of several Iranian-backed groups was behind it.

Biden said the United States “will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner (of) our choosing.”

According to a U.S. official, at least 25 U.S. service members were wounded, but that number may grow. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details not made public, said a large drone struck the base, which is in Jordan, right on the Syrian border. It is used largely by troops involved in the advise-and-assist mission for Jordanian forces. The small installation includes U.S. engineering, aviation, logistics and security troops.

Jordanian state television quoted Muhannad Mubaidin, a government spokesman, as insisting the attack happened outside of the kingdom across the border in Syria. U.S. officials insisted that the attack took place in Jordan.

U.S. troops long have used Jordan, a kingdom bordering Iraq, Israel, the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, Saudi Arabia and Syria, as a basing point. U.S. Central Command said 25 service members were injured the attack in addition to the three killed.

Some 3,000 American troops typically are stationed in Jordan.

Two U.S. officials said the attack occurred at the base in northeastern Jordan known as Tower 22. Previously released U.S. military photos in 2018 identify troops working at the base as supporting special operation forces in the area, likely across the border into Syria. The U.S. military base at al-Tanf in Syria is just some 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Tower 22. The installation provide a critical logistical hub for U.S. forces in Syria, including those at al-Tanf, which is near the intersection of the Iraq, Syria and Jordan borders.

Since Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip began, U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria have faced drone and missile attacks on their bases. The attack on Jordan marks the first targeting American troops in Jordan during the war and the first to result in the loss of American lives. Other attacks have left troops seriously injured, including with traumatic brain injuries.

The U.S. in recent months has struck targets in Iraq, Syria and Yemen to respond to attacks on American forces in the region and to deter Iranian-backed Houthi rebels from continuing to threaten commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

Biden, who was in Columbia, South Carolina, on Sunday, was briefed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, and principal deputy national security adviser Jon Finer, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. He was expected to meet again with his national security team later Sunday.

The president called it a “despicable and wholly unjust attack” and said the service members 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 we will not cease.”

Syria is still in the midst of a civil war and long has been a launch pad for Iranian-backed forces there, including the Lebanese militia Hezbollah. Iraq has multiple Iranian-backed Shiite militias operating there as well.

Jordan, a staunch Western ally and a crucial power in Jerusalem for its oversight of holy sites there, is suspected of launching airstrikes in Syria to disrupt drug smugglers, including one that killed nine people earlier this month.

An umbrella group for Iran-backed factions known as the Islamic Resistance in Iraq earlier claimed launching explosive drone attacks targeting three areas in Syria, as well as one inside of “occupied Palestine.” The group has claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks against bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria since the Israel-Hamas war began.

United States News

A calendar shows the month of February, including leap day, Feb. 29, on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in S...

Associated Press

Have a look at the whos, whats and whens of leap year through time

NEW YORK (AP) — Leap year. It’s a delight for the calendar and math nerds among us. So how did it all begin and why? Have a look at some of the numbers, history and lore behind the (not quite) every four year phenom that adds a 29th day to February. BY THE NUMBERS The […]

50 minutes ago

FILE - Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim greets supporters outside Central High School on the day of the r...

Associated Press

Fatigue and frustration as final do-over mayoral election looms in Connecticut’s largest city

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — It’s been nearly four months since a judge tossed out the results of a Democratic mayoral primary in Connecticut’s largest city due to allegations of ballot stuffing, sending voters repeatedly back to the polls and thrusting Bridgeport into an unflattering national spotlight. Many frustrated local voters say they just want it […]

52 minutes ago

Homes are seen on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in the southwest Portland, Ore., suburb of Beaverton. Th...

Associated Press

A housing shortage is testing Oregon’s pioneering land use law. Lawmakers are poised to tweak it

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A severe lack of affordable housing has prompted Oregon lawmakers to consider chipping away at a 1970s law that made the state a national leader in leveraging land use policy to prevent suburban sprawl and conserve nature and agriculture. The so-called urban growth boundary, a sacred cow of Oregon’s liberal politics, […]

52 minutes ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump hugs and kisses the American flag a...

Associated Press

Trump calls himself a ‘proud political dissident’ in CPAC speech

In a CPAC speech, Trump painted an apocalyptic vision of the future if President Joe Biden wins again as the two prepare for a rematch.

5 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures to the audience after spea...

Associated Press

Donald Trump wins South Carolina GOP primary, beating Nikki Haley in her home state

Trump has now swept every contest that counted for Republican delegates, with wins already in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Why AP called South Carolina for Trump: Race call explained

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press declared Donald Trump the winner of the South Carolina primary as soon as polls closed on Saturday. The race call was based on a comprehensive survey of South Carolina Republican primary voters that showed him defeating Nikki Haley by wide margins in her home state. Declaring a winner as […]

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

3 American troops dead and several wounded in drone attack by Iran-backed militia in Jordan