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The U.S vows to respond to deadly drone strike in Jordan

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U.S. officials have blamed Iran-backed militants for a drone strike on its military base in Jordan that killed three American troops.
Drone strike in north-east Jordan killed three American troops.

The U.S. has vowed to respond to drone strikes that killed three American soldiers and injured dozens of others at one of its military bases in northeast Jordan.

President Joe Biden blamed the unmanned aerial strike on Iran-backed militants. Iran has denied any involvement.

U.S. backlash could lead to an expansion of the Middle Eastern conflict beyond Israel and Gaza, where tensions have threatened to boil over into other parts of the region since 7 October.

The strikes

Earlier this week, unmanned drones struck a U.S. logistics base in north-east Jordan. They killed three soldiers and injured at least 34 others.

Eight people were flown out to receive medical attention, according to U.S. officials.

The soldiers had been in the area near the Syrian border as part of a long-term operation against Islamist extremists.

U.S. response

The U.S. Defence Department blamed the attack on an Iran-backed militia group called Kataib Hezbollah. However, authorities are still investigating who is responsible.

Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said: “We will take all necessary actions to defend the United States, our troops, and our interests.”

President Biden has had two meetings with the National Security Council, a gathering of senior American officials looking into high-stakes international matters.

Regional conflict

A spokesperson for Iran’s foreign ministry denied involvement in the strikes on the U.S. base, saying “the resistance groups in the region do not take orders from Iran in their decisions or actions”.

It comes as tensions in the Middle East have escalated since Hamas’ 7 October attack on Israel prompted Israel to declare war and launch an invasion of Gaza.

Iran has publicly condemned Israel’s strikes in Gaza, while the U.S. remains one of Israel’s closest allies.

The U.S. Government has faced questions over whether it will directly strike Iran in response to the attacks.

Republicans and defence experts have pushed the Biden administration to take stronger action against Iran.

However, U.S. National Security spokesperson John Kirby insisted: “We are not looking for a war with Iran. We are not seeking a conflict with the regime in a military way”.

The Associated Press has reported the U.S. military may have mistakenly identified the unmanned drone as one of its own, citing anonymous sources.

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