Three U.S. troops were killed and 34 others were injured in a drone attack in Jordan on Sunday near the Syria border, U.S. officials said.
They are the first American deaths by Iranian-backed militant groups since the Israel-Hamas war started Oct. 7. The troops have not been identified as the government is notifying the families. The deaths are expected to esaclate more U.S. involvement in the region.
The U.S. has supported Israel against Hamas in Gaza while trying to prevent the fighting extending into other parts of the Middle East.
President Joe Biden was briefed multiple times in the hours after the strike, saying the troops were killed by “radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” adding that “we are still gathering the facts of this attack.”
“Today, America’s heart is heavy,” Biden said. “Last night, three U.S. service members were killed — and many wounded — during an unmanned aerial drone attack on our forces stationed in northeast Jordan near the Syria border.”
“We shall respond,” he said.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq released a statement Sunday taking credit for four drone attacks on Al-Shaddadi Base in Syria and the Al-Rukban and Al-Tanf bases at the Syria-Jordan border.
“We will strive to be worthy of their honor and valor. We will carry on their commitment to fight terrorism. And have no doubt — we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing,” Biden said.
Iran-backed militias have carried out over hundred attacks in the region in recent months, targeting U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Syria as well as American ships and international commercial vessels in the Red Sea.
U.S. lawmakers quickly responded to the news, with some pressing Biden to respond with harder strikes in the region.
John Cornyn (R-TX) tweeted “Target Tehran.” while Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) added Hit Iran now. Hit them hard.”
“When the Biden Administration says ‘don’t,’ the Iranians ‘do’. The Biden Administration’s rhetoric is falling on deaf ears in Iran,” Graham wrote. “Their policy of deterrence against Iran has failed miserably.”
The last attack that claimed multiple American lives was the bombing outside of the Kabul, Afghanistan, airport in August 2021, which killed 13 U.S. troops.