"U.S. Confirms Three American Service Members Killed and Numerous Injured in Drone Attack on Jordanian Base"

David
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Three U.S. service members lost their lives, and numerous others sustained injuries in an unmanned aerial drone attack on a Jordanian base this Sunday, as reported by President Biden and the U.S. military.


President Biden, in a released statement, attributed the assault to "radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq." He asserted that the U.S. "will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner of our choosing."


The attack unfolded at a base in northeast Jordan, a key U.S. ally situated near the Syrian border. Identified as Tower 22, the outpost is home to approximately 350 U.S. Army and Air Force personnel, according to the Department of Defense.


Initially, U.S. Central Command indicated 25 injuries, but later updates from two U.S. officials raised the toll to over 30. By Sunday night, CENTCOM confirmed that at least 34 individuals had been injured. Among the wounded, eight service members required evacuation, with some in critical condition, though all were reported to be in stable condition, according to information provided by a defense official to CBS News.


The troops who tragically lost their lives or sustained injuries were in their sleeping quarters on the base during the drone strike that occurred in the pre-dawn hours.


U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) stated that the identities of the deceased would be kept confidential for 24 hours, allowing time for the families to be notified.


The White House confirmed that President Biden was briefed on the attack Sunday morning and held meetings with top officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, later in the afternoon.


Addressing the solemn event, President Biden expressed, "I want to point out that we had a tough day last night in the Middle East. We lost three brave soldiers in an attack on one of our bases. And I'm asking for a moment of silence for all three of our fallen soldiers." He emphasized that a response to the incident would be forthcoming, underscoring the gravity of the situation.


The recent drone strike is considered the deadliest attack on U.S. service members since 13 Americans lost their lives in a suicide bombing in Kabul during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.


This incident unfolds amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran's regional proxies, raising concerns about a potential broader conflict, particularly given the heightened risk of an Israeli war with Iranian-backed Hamas in Gaza. Notably, Yemen's Houthi rebels, supported by Iran, have been targeting shipping vessels in the Red Sea since October in protest of the Gaza conflict.


In response, the U.S. and its allies initiated airstrikes against Houthi targets in Yemen to curb the attacks on shipping. Last week, Houthi militants targeted the USS Carney with a missile, marking the first instance of the group aiming at a U.S. warship; fortunately, the destroyer successfully intercepted the missile.


The preceding week witnessed the loss of two Navy SEALs at sea, occurring when they went overboard while attempting to board an Iranian vessel delivering "advanced conventional weapons" to the Houthi rebels.


Following the recent drone strike, Congressional Republicans expressed strong condemnation, urging the Biden administration to retaliate against Iran. House Speaker Mike Johnson emphasized the need for a clear global message that attacks on U.S. troops would not be tolerated. Senator Lindsey Graham went further, suggesting striking "targets of significance" within Iran itself as a deterrent against future attacks.


A spokesperson for the Jordanian government vehemently denounced the attack that transpired on Sunday, emphasizing that there were no casualties reported among the Jordanian Armed Forces.


The spokesperson affirmed Jordan's unwavering commitment to combatting terrorism, as well as the illicit trafficking of drugs and weapons across the Syrian border into Jordan. Specifically, the spokesperson referenced the drug fenethylline, commonly known as "Captagon," an amphetamine extensively utilized by terror groups in the Middle East. Notably, Captagon is predominantly manufactured by the Assad regime in Syria, further highlighting the multifaceted challenges that Jordan aims to address in its efforts to maintain regional stability.


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