Three US service members have been killed and at least 34 others wounded in a drone attack in northeast Jordan near the Syrian border, the United States military has said.
President Joe Biden said in a statement on Sunday that while the US is still gathering the facts of the attack, they know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq.
He said the US “will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner [of] its choosing.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of Iran-backed armed groups, claimed attacks targeting three bases, including one on the Jordan-Syria border.
Jordan condemned on Sunday the “terrorist attack” on a military advance post just inside its border with Syria and said it was cooperating with Washington to secure its frontier. In the first official statement on the attack, US ally Jordan said it was working with Washington to “fight terrorism.” The deaths are the first for US troops in the Middle East since Israel’s war on Gaza began on October 7.
The attack comes amid soaring tensions in the region, where Israel continues its war on Gaza in response to an attack by the Palestinian group Hamas in southern Israel that killed at least 1,139 people, according to Israeli authorities.
Israel’s subsequent assault on Gaza has killed more than 26,400 people, according to Palestinian officials in the besieged territory.
Fears have grown about the possibility of a regional conflagration amid attacks from Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Red Sea shipping and near-daily rounds of cross-border fire between Israel and the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah.
In recent weeks, Iran-backed armed groups have intensified their attacks on US military bases in Iraq and neighboring Syria in response to the Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip.
In recent months, the US has struck targets in Iraq, Syria and Yemen to respond to attacks on American forces in the region and to deter Iranian-backed Houthi rebels from continuing to threaten commercial shipping in the Red Sea.
There have been more than 100 attacks on US military installations in the Middle East since Israel launched its assault on Gaza.