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3 US troops killed, up to 34 injured in Jordan UAV strike linked to Iran

January 29, 2024  - By
Image: NiseriN/ iStock / Getty Images Plus/ Getty Images

Image: NiseriN/ iStock / Getty Images Plus/ Getty Images

Three U.S. service members were killed and dozens wounded during a UAV attack on U.S. forces stationed in northeastern Jordan near the Syrian border, President Joe Biden and U.S. officials said on January 28.

Biden blamed Iran-backed groups for the attack, the first deadly strike against U.S. forces since the Israel-Hamas war erupted in October 2023 and sent shock waves throughout the Middle East.

“While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” Biden said in a statement.

At least 34 personnel were being evaluated for possible traumatic brain injury, a U.S. official told Reuters, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Two officials said some wounded U.S. forces were medically evacuated from the base for further treatment.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq – an umbrella organization of Iran-backed militant groups — claimed attacks on three bases, including one on the Jordan-Syria border.

The attack is a major escalation in the already tense situation in the Middle East, where war broke out in Gaza after the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people. Israel’s subsequent assault on Gaza has killed more than 26,000 Palestinians as of January 2024, according to the local health ministry.

Since then, U.S. forces have come under attack more than 150 times by Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria. U.S. warships have also been fired at by Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen, who are regularly attacking commercial ships passing through Red Sea waters off Yemen’s coast.

While the United States has maintained an official line that Washington is not at war in the region, it has been retaliating against the Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria and carrying out strikes against Yemen’s Houthi military capabilities.

Referring to the fallen soldiers, in his statement released by the White House Biden said: “We will carry on their commitment to fight terrorism. And have no doubt — we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner of our choosing.”

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