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Biden promises consequences for Jordan drone attack

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United States President Joe Biden has addressed the nation with solemn resolve in the aftermath of the drone strike that claimed the lives of three American troops and left dozens injured near the Syrian border in northeast Jordan.

Speaking from South Carolina where he was on travel, he offered condolences for the fallen soldiers and assured the American people that the United States “shall respond” to the attack. 

Biden pointedly attributed the strike to Iranian-backed militias, marking a grim milestone as the first American fatalities after months of such groups targeting US forces across the Middle East.

“We had a tough day last night in the Middle East. We lost three brave souls in an attack on one of our bases,” Biden remarked during an appearance at a Baptist church’s banquet hall. He called for a moment of silence to honor the fallen soldiers before reaffirming, “and we shall respond.”

US officials, amidst the escalating tensions, are diligently working to identify the specific group responsible for the attack. 

Initial assessments strongly suggest the involvement of Iranian-backed factions, with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a militia active in both Iraq and Syria, claiming responsibility for the drone assault. 

This group has a track record of targeting US installations in the region since the commencement of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

President Biden asserted the unwavering commitment of the United States to hold the perpetrators accountable, promising a response at a time and in a manner determined by the nation. 

Echoing this sentiment, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin affirmed that the US would take all necessary actions to defend its troops and interests.

In response to the tragedy, former President Donald Trump condemned Biden’s handling of the situation, characterizing the attack as a dire consequence of perceived weakness. Meanwhile, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron joined in the condemnation, urging Iran to de-escalate tensions in the region.

Reports indicate that Iranian-backed fighters in eastern Syria have commenced evacuating their positions, bracing for potential US airstrikes. 

The strike occurred near Tower 22, a vital installation used by US forces engaged in support missions for Jordanian troops along the Syrian border. The base serves as a critical logistical hub for American operations in the region, particularly those at the al-Tanf base in Syria.

Jordanian authorities confirmed the attack, stating that it occurred across the border in Syria. The casualties included three fatalities and 34 injuries, with some of the wounded evacuated for medical treatment. Despite ongoing hostilities in the region, Jordan has historically provided a strategic base for US military operations in the Middle East.

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