Yesterday three US service members were killed and at least 34 others were injured in a drone attack in Jordan on the evening of January 28. The White House has attributed the attack to an Iran-backed militia, marking the first American military fatalities from hostile fire in the ongoing series of attacks on US personnel in the region.
The attack took place at a remote logistics outpost in northeast Jordan called Tower 22, situated at the convergence of the borders of Syria, Iraq, and Jordan. The strike, carried out by an unmanned aerial drone, targeted the outpost’s living quarters, resulting in injuries ranging from minor cuts to brain trauma among the US soldiers stationed there.
President Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III have both condemned the attack, holding Iran-backed militias responsible and vowing to take all necessary actions to defend US forces and interests in the region. The Pentagon has refrained from disclosing the identities of the deceased service members and their units, pending notification of their families.
The attack has intensified pressure on President Biden to respond more forcefully, especially in the wake of escalating strife in the Middle East following the October 7 attacks. The incident has underscored the continued threat posed by Iran and its militias to American troops, despite US efforts to counter and deter such aggression.
The Iranian government has denied any involvement in the attack, asserting that the resistance groups in the region act independently in response to what they perceive as war crimes and genocide committed by the Israeli regime in Gaza. The “Islamic Resistance in Iraq,” an umbrella organization of Iran-backed armed groups, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Escalating tensions in the region have prompted calls for a robust and strategic response from the Biden administration. With the risk of military escalation looming large, US officials are working to conclusively identify the precise group(s) responsible for the attack while assessing the situation to determine “an appropriate course of action.”