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Three US troops killed in Jordan by drone strike blamed on 'Iran-backed militants' by Biden
28 January 2024, 16:54 | Updated: 28 January 2024, 17:37
Three US troops have been killed in a drone strike in Jordan near the border with Syria.
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25 others were injured at a military base in the attack on Saturday night - which was reportedly targeted at troops sleeping in tents in the Middle East region.
The attack has resulted in the first deaths of US service personnel since the renewed outbreak of conflict in the region after the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023.
"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," President Joe Biden said in a statement.
"We will carry on their commitment to fight terrorism," Mr Biden continued.
"And have no doubt - we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner of our choosing."
The identities of the military service members will be withheld for 24 hours until their families can be told the news, according to the US military.
Jordan is used as a basing point in the region for the US, with 3,000 troops stationed there typically.
Since the war in Gaza began, US troops have come under fire in Iraq and Syria - but this attack is the first to take place outside of the chaotic conflict-laden countries.
Mr Biden, who was in Columbia, South Carolina, on Sunday, was briefed by defence secretary Lloyd Austin, national security adviser Jake Sullivan and principal deputy national security adviser Jon Finer.
Syria is still in the midst of a civil war and has long been a launch pad for Iranian-backed forces there, including the Lebanese militia Hezbollah.
Iraq has multiple Iranian-backed Shiite militias operating there as well.
Jordan, a staunch western ally and a crucial power in Jerusalem for its oversight of holy sites there, is suspected of launching airstrikes in Syria to disrupt drug smugglers, including one that killed nine people earlier this month.