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President Biden says he has decided US response to Jordan drone strike which killed three soldiers
30 January 2024, 16:47 | Updated: 30 January 2024, 17:35
President Joe Biden says he has decided how the US will respond to a drone strike that killed three American troops in Jordan.
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Speaking as he left the White House for fundraisers in Florida, Mr Biden said: "I don't think we need a wider war in the Middle East."
An Iran-backed militia group has claimed responsibility for the attack at a US military base which killed three and injured 40 more in the attack near the Syrian border.
Mr Biden did not detail exactly what the US action might be, but the White House on Monday promised a "very consequential response".
The president also told reporters that he holds Iran responsible for the attack because that country’s government is “supplying the weapons to the people who did it,” though he declined to say whether a direct link between Tehran and the attacks has been established by US intelligence.
Since the drone attack, some Republicans have been calling for the US to respond to the strike by attacking targets within Iran's borders.
Sources say Biden officials have been contemplating several different response scenarios, including strikes on Iranian proxies and a strike on an Iranian naval ship in the Persian Gulf.
However Mr Biden said he did not want to see the situation escalate into a broader regional conflict.
The attack was the first US deaths by Iranian-backed militant groups in months since the Israel-Hamas war began October 7.
Iran has denied any involvement in the attack.
The explosives-laden drone blew up near a shelter where some troops slept at a logistics support base in northeast Jordan, two U.S. officials told NBC News.
Eight of the injured were evacuated from the country to receive higher-level care and are stable, U.S. Central Command said Sunday.
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Monday that “there’s a responsibility that appropriately needs to be laid at the feet of leaders in Tehran” for the attacks and noted that the Iranian government “clearly” continues to support militant groups that have been attacking US positions, ships, and international commercial shipping in the Red Sea.