Drone attack kills 3 US troops and wounds 25 more in Jordan

US President Joe Biden blamed “radical Iran-backed militant groups” for a drone attack that claimed the lives of three US soldiers and wounded 25 more.

A US military base in Jordan near the Syrian border was hit by a drone attack that killed three US troops and wounded 25 others, according to the US Central Command.

The US President Joe Biden blamed the attack on “radical Iran-backed militant groups” operating in Syria and Iraq, and expressed his condolences to the families and friends of the fallen soldiers.

This is the first fatal attack on US forces in the region since Hamas launched rockets at Israel on 7 October.

The US military has faced frequent attacks on its bases in Iraq and Syria, but none of them had resulted in US casualties until now.

The White House said that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other officials briefed Mr Biden on the attack on Sunday morning.

“As we continue to investigate this attack, we know that it was perpetrated by radical Iran-backed militant groups in Syria and Iraq,” Mr Biden said in a statement.

“This heinous and utterly unjust attack has taken the lives of our brave warriors, and Jill and I join their families and friends – and all Americans – in mourning their loss,” the statement continued.

The identities of the killed and injured servicemen have not been disclosed yet, pending notification of their next of kin.

US officials said in December that US bases in Iraq and Syria had been targeted by at least 97 attacks since 17 October.

In response, the US conducted airstrikes against Iran-linked groups last month, after a drone attack on a northern Iraq base left three US servicemembers wounded, one of them critically.

Another US airstrike in Baghdad in January killed a militia leader who was allegedly involved in attacks on US personnel.

The perpetrators of the latest attack remain unknown, but Mr Biden pledged to “bring all those responsible to justice at a time and place of our choosing”.

In a recorded interview with ABC News that aired on Sunday morning, Gen CQ Brown, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the US objective in the region is to “prevent the conflict from escalating”.

“We want to deter them and avoid going down a road of greater escalation that leads to a wider conflict in the region.”

The US and its allies also have troops in the Red Sea, where the Iran-backed Houthis have been attacking commercial vessels. The Yemeni group claims that it is supporting the Palestinians in Gaza, who are under attack by Israel.

However, the US Central Command (Centcom) has said that “these illegal actions have nothing to do with the Gaza conflict”.

“The Houthis have indiscriminately fired into the Red Sea, hitting vessels that affect over 40 countries around the world,” Centcom has stated.

The US Army has also declared two Navy Seals missing and presumed dead, after they disappeared in January during a mission off the Somali coast to intercept Iranian-made weapons destined for the Houthis in Yemen.

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