In a drone attack on US troops in northeastern Jordan, close to the Syrian border, an organisation backed by Iran claimed the lives of three US service members and injured at least 34 others, as per the statements made on Sunday by US officials and President Joe Biden.

This marks a significant escalation in the tensions that have engulfed the Middle East and is the first fatal attack against US forces since the Israel-Hamas conflict broke out in October.

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

“Have no doubt – we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner of our choosing,” he said.

Tehran had rebutted the claims saying it had nothing to do with the attack, according to a statement released on Monday by Iran’s UN mission.

OIL PRICES SURGE AS DRONE ATTACK IGNITES SUPPLY DISRUPTIONS IN MIDDLE EAST

IRAN’S STANCE

“Iran had no connection and had nothing to do with the attack on the US base,” the mission said in a statement released by the state news agency IRNA.

Furthermore, it added: “There is a conflict between US forces and resistance groups in the region, which reciprocate retaliatory attacks.”

Biden asked for a moment of silence for the three killed service members during a campaign event in South Carolina, adding: “We shall respond.”

The same warning was repeated by US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin. Biden had received an update on the attack from him and other top officials earlier in the day.

In a statement from US Central Command, it was stated that at least 34 personnel were hurt in the drone attack, but as more people seek medical attention, and the number may rise. Though their conditions are stable, eight employees were evacuated from Jordan in order to receive higher-level care.

MONDAY’S GOLD REPORT AND TECHNICAL ANALYSIS

The high number of casualties may have been caused by the early morning drone strike, as per the two US officials who witnessed the incident.

Attacks on three bases, including one near the Jordan-Syria border, were reported by Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of groups supported by Iran.

THE ESCALATION

Following Hamas’s 1,200-killing attack on Israel on October 7, there was a war in Gaza, and this attack is likely to fuel fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East. In the aftermath of Israel’s attack on Gaza, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reports that over 26,000 people have died.

Prior to the attack on Sunday, at least 70 US soldiers had been attacked more than 150 times in Iraq and Syria by organisations supported by Iran, the majority of whom suffered traumatic brain injuries.

Houthi forces in Yemen have also fired at US warships. These forces frequently attack commercial ships that are travelling through Red Sea waters off Yemen’s coast.

Even though Washington has up until now claimed to be not at war in the region, Washington has been striking back against groups that receive support from Iran in Syria and Iraq as well as targeting the Houthi military capabilities in Yemen.

BIDEN PRESSURED ON IRAN

The incident was quickly utilised by Biden’s Republican opponents as proof that the Democratic president was unwilling to stand up to Iran when its proxies launched attacks against US forces nearby.

The sole response to these assaults needs to be a fierce military counteroffensive against Iran’s terrorist groups. Senate Republican Tom Cotton said in a statement, “Anything less will confirm Joe Biden as a coward.”

The Republican leader of the US Senate, Mitch McConnell, claimed that Biden’s passivity was giving the US’s adversaries in the Middle East more confidence.

“The time to start taking this aggression seriously was long before more brave Americans lost their lives,” McConnell said.

A senior official with Hamas, Sami Abu Zuhri, directly tied the attack to Israel’s on-going tensions in Gaza.

“The killing of three American soldiers is a message to the US administration that unless the killing of innocents in Gaza stops, it must confront the entire nation,” he told Reuters.

“The continued American-Zionist aggression on Gaza is capable of exploding the situation in the region.”

According to the US military, the attack happened at a base close to the Syrian border in northeastern Jordan. Although the base was not named, someone with knowledge of the situation recognised it as Tower 22 in Jordan as reported by Reuters.

Because of growing concerns in Jordan about the war spreading, US military activity in the country can be a sensitive topic, especially during a period of heightened tensions resulting from the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The only information provided by the Jordanian government was that the attack happened at a “advanced post” near its Syrian border.

To strengthen its border defence, Amman requested late last year that Washington send out Patriot air defence systems.

It has asked for additional assistance in combating drones utilised in the massive drug war spanning several billions of dollars along the Syrian border, which Amman attributes to pro-Iranian militias controlling southern Syria.

The kingdom hosts numerous exercises with US troops all year round and has hundreds of US trainers stationed there.

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