COLUMBIA, South Carolina — Three American service members were killed and “many” were wounded in a drone strike in northeast Jordan near the Syrian border, President Joe Biden said in a statement Sunday. He attributed the attack to Iran-backed militia groups.
They were the first U.S. fatalities in months of strikes against American forces across the Middle East by Iranian-backed militias amid the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, increasing the risk of escalation. U.S. officials were still working to conclusively identify the precise group responsible for the attack, but have assessed that one of several Iranian-backed groups is to blame.
Biden said the United States “will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner (of) our choosing.”
Jordanian state television quoted Muhannad Mubaidin, a government spokesman, as insisting the attack happened outside of the kingdom across the border in Syria. U.S. officials insisted that the attack took place in Jordan.
U.S. troops long have used Jordan, a kingdom bordering Iraq, Israel, the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, Saudi Arabia and Syria, as a basing point. U.S. Central Command said 25 service members were injured the attack in addition to the three killed.
Some 3,000 American troops typically are stationed in Jordan.
Since Israel's war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip began, U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria have faced drone and missile attacks on their bases. The…