Three US troops killed, as much as 34 injured in Jordan drone strike linked to Iran By Reuters

© Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at South Carolina’s First within the Nation Dinner on the State Fairgrounds in Columbia, South Carolina, U.S., January 27, 2024. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photograph

By Phil Stewart, Steve Holland and Idrees Ali

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Three U.S. service members have been killed and dozens wounded throughout an unmanned aerial drone assault on U.S. forces stationed in northeastern Jordan close to the Syrian border, President Joe Biden and U.S. officers stated on Sunday.

Biden blamed Iran-backed teams for the assault, the primary lethal strike towards U.S. forces because the Israel-Hamas conflict erupted in October, sending shock waves all through the Center East.

“Whereas we’re nonetheless gathering the details of this assault, we all know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant teams working in Syria and Iraq,” Biden stated in a press release.

A minimum of 34 personnel have been being evaluated for doable traumatic mind harm, a U.S. official instructed Reuters, talking on situation of anonymity. Two totally different officers stated some wounded U.S. forces have been medically evacuated from the bottom for additional remedy.

A fourth official stated the drone struck close to the barracks, which, if confirmed, may clarify the excessive variety of casualties.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of hardline Iran-backed militant teams, claimed assaults on three bases, together with one on the Jordan-Syria border.

The assault is a serious escalation of the already tense scenario within the Center East, the place conflict broke out in Gaza after Palestinian Islamist group Hamas’ assault on Israel on Oct. 7 which killed 1,200. Israel’s subsequent assault on Gaza has killed over 26,000 Palestinians, in accordance with the native well being ministry.

Whereas the USA has to date maintained an official line that Washington shouldn’t be at conflict within the area, it has made strikes towards targets of Yemen’s Houthi teams which were attacking industrial vessels within the Purple Sea.

“We are going to keep it up their dedication to combat terrorism. And have little question – we are going to maintain all these accountable to account at a time and in a fashion of our selecting,” Biden stated in his assertion launched by the White Home.

Republican opponents of Biden seized on the assault as proof of the Democratic president’s failure to confront Iran as its proxies strike towards U.S. forces throughout the area.

“The one reply to those assaults should be devastating army retaliation towards Iran’s terrorist forces … Something much less will affirm Joe Biden as a coward,” stated Republican Senator Tom Cotton in a press release.

A senior official with the Iran-backed Palestinian militant group Hamas, Sami Abu Zuhri, instantly tied the assault to Israel’s marketing campaign in Gaza.

“The killing of three American troopers is a message to the U.S. administration that until the killing of innocents in Gaza stops, it should confront your complete nation,” he instructed Reuters.

“The continued American-Zionist aggression on Gaza is able to exploding the scenario within the area.”

The U.S. army stated the assault occurred at a base in northeastern Jordan, close to the Syrian border. It didn’t identify the bottom. U.S. army exercise in Jordan could be a delicate challenge, significantly at a time of heightened tensions of the Israel-Hamas battle.

A Jordanian authorities spokesman instructed state TV that the militants focused a unique base, exterior Jordanian territory.

Washington has given Jordan round $1 billion to bolster border safety since Syria’s civil conflict started in 2011, and has lately despatched extra army support to that finish, Western intelligence sources say.

It’s unclear which Iran-backed group might have carried out the assault however a number of U.S. officers stated they didn’t imagine that Iranian army forces themselves launched the one-way assault drone.

“Whereas we’re nonetheless gathering details, that is most assuredly the work of an Iranian-backed militia group,” one other U.S. official stated.

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