An overnight drone attack on a small US outpost in Jordan killed three US soldiers and wounded at least two dozen service members, US officials told CNN, marking the first time US troops have been killed by enemy fire in the Middle East. Beginning of the Gaza War.
Three Americans were killed in Tower 22 in Jordan It is a significant escalation of an already dangerous situation in the Middle East near the border with Syria. Officials said the drone was launched by pro-Iranian fighters and appeared to have come from Syria.
Three service members were killed and 25 wounded in a one-way drone strike that “hit a base in northeastern Jordan,” US Central Command confirmed in a statement on Sunday.
President Joe Biden on Sunday pledged to “hold to account” those responsible for the attack, saying that while facts were still being gathered, “we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq.”
“These service members are among our nation's finest: unwavering in their bravery. unflinching in their duty. unwavering in their commitment to our country — risking their own safety for the safety of fellow Americans and our allies and partners with whom we stand in the fight against terrorism. … [H]No doubt – we will hold all those responsible to account at once and in a manner of our choosing.
As of Friday, there had been more than 158 strikes against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq and Syria, though officials described the sustained barrage of drones, rockets and missiles as unsuccessful because they often did not cause serious injuries or damage infrastructure.
It is not clear why air defense forces failed to intercept the drone in the first attack on Tower 22 since attacks on US and coalition forces began on October 17. US forces are there as part of an advise-and-assist role. Work with Jordan.
U.S. officials have repeatedly said they do not want to see high tensions across the Middle East escalate into a regional war. Asked last week whether the Pentagon assessed that Iranian proxies were stepping up attacks on US forces, deputy Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said, “Not necessarily, not at all.”
In a pre-recorded interview with ABC News that aired Sunday morning, Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. CQ Brown said part of America's mission was to “make sure that things in the Middle East don't lead to conflict”. Expand.”
“The goal is to deter them, and we don't want to go down a path of over-escalation that leads to a much wider conflict within the region,” he said.
There have been dozens of injuries since the attacks began — a senior military official told reporters last week there were about 70 — but the Pentagon has classified most of them as minor, except for one American soldier who was seriously wounded in an attack in Iraq. Christmas day.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Garrett Illerbrunn of the 82nd Combat Aviation Squadron was flown back to the United States for treatment after being critically injured in a drone strike at Erbil Air Force Base.
The U.S. has taken several retaliatory actions against Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria, including last week when the U.S. struck three facilities in Iraq used by Kataib Hezbollah and other Iran-aligned groups.
The killing of the three Americans comes as talks are expected to begin soon between the United States and Iraq over the future of the US military.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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