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US Troops killed in attack on Jordan

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Alex Vasey on Unsplash
Petra, Jordan.

Three US Army soldiers were killed in a drone attack at a small outpost in Jordan on Jan. 28. This marks the first time that US troops have been killed by enemy fire since the start of the Gaza War in the Middle East.

The three servicemen were identified as Sgt. William Rivers, Specialist Kennedy Sanders and Specialist Breonna Moffett according to the Defense Department. An additional 40 people were injured in the attack on Tower 22 in Jordan, near the border with Syria. Officials believe that the drone was fired by Iran-backed militias and apparently came from Syria. However, it is unknown which militia is responsible for the attack. The number of injuries is expected to rise.

President Biden mourned for the fallen servicemen in a White House press release, and promised that America will not stop its fight in the war on terrorism. “Jill and I join the families and friends of our fallen—and Americans across the country—in grieving the loss of these warriors in this despicable and wholly unjust attack,” said Biden.

US Representative Roger Wicker (who hails from Mississippi) called for action against the attack and believes that the only retaliation must be “devastating.” Biden is now working diligently to prepare a response to the attacks.

Before the attack, it was reported that the enemy drone had followed an American drone, but it is still unknown if the enemy drone was following the American drone or if it was a mere coincidence. It is still unclear why air defenses did not intercept the drone and halt the attack. This appears to be the first known attack on Tower 22 since Oct. 17, when attacks on the US and coalition forces first began.

The attack raises further concerns that tensions are rising in the Middle East, especially considering the war between Israel and Hamas that has ravaged the Gaza strip. There have been around 165 attacks on the US and coalition forces since Oct. 17, and concern is only rising further. A US official reported that there have been six attacks since Jan. 26, including the attack in Jordan and another multi-rocket attack on Patrol Base Shaddadi in Syria on Jan. 29.

It is widely believed that Iran-backed militant groups are behind the attack, especially after rising tensions in Syria and Iraq between the two forces. The US has also been fervently combatting the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen. US forces have been facing attacks such as these since the start of the Israel-Hamas War.

Iran has denied involvement in the attack, and have pledged that they are sworn to the United Nations. Tehran is now distancing itself from the attack, and allege that these accusations of involvement have no merit.

With the US on multiple fronts amid these rising tensions, officials continue to say that they will do what it takes to avoid a regional war. The US and Iraq are going to discuss matters this week over the future of US military presence in the country.

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