Three US service members killed in Jordan drone attack, Biden says

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The US military says 3 killed, at least 25 others injured in the attack on US forces in northeastern Jordan.

Three US service members have been killed and “many” others wounded during an unmanned aerial drone attack on US forces stationed in northeastern Jordan near the Syrian border, President Joe Biden has said, blaming Iran-backed groups for the attack.

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The US military said in a statement that at least 25 people were injured in the attack.

“While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” Biden said in a statement on Sunday.

Biden said the US “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 saying the attack happened outside of the kingdom across the border in Syria.

There was no imediate comment from Iran.

The deaths are the first fatalities of 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 which killed at least 1,139 people, according to Israeli authorities.

Israel’s subsequent assault on Gaza has killed more than 26,000 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 neighbouring Syria in response to the Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip.

Reporting from Tehran, Al Jazeera’s Resul Sardar said there have been more than 100 attacks on American bases in the Middle East since Israel launched its assault on Gaza.

“Iran’s position so far…has been quite clear. They say that these attacks are not conducted and planned by Iran. They say that Iran has allies across the region, however these allies also make decisions based on their own decisions,” he said.

“Iranians do not want a regional escalation. The Iranian officials know a direct military confrontation with Israel also means a war with the US which could be a deadly one for Iran,” he said.

“So, Iran so far has avoided direct military confrontation with Israel and it has instead asked its allies to act. Iran’s response has been through its allies like Yemen’s Houthis, Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and many other groups in Syria and Iraq,” he said.

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