WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Sunday, three US service members were killed and dozens more were injured by a drone strike in Jordan.
According to US Central Command, eight injured service members were medically evacuated to receive higher-level care. Officials say the number of wounded is expected to rise.
This is a huge escalation in the ongoing conflict in the Middle East since the war between Israel and Hamas. Between October 7 and last Friday, there had been nearly 160 attacks on US and coalition forces in Iraq and Syria. Those attacks came without serious injury or damage to US forces, until Sunday.
Sunday’s drone strike at Tower 22, a small US outpost in northeast Jordan near the Syrian border, marks the first time US troops have been killed by enemy fire in the middle east since the beginning of the war in Gaza.
Iran has denied involvement, but according to US officials, the drone was fired by Iran-backed militants and appeared to come from Syria. Officials are still trying to figure out which militia group is responsible.
Lawmakers on both sides are sending thoughts and prayers to the service members’ families. Many are also addressing the concerning escalation.
“The American people should be infuriated that this has happened. We have watched Iranian-backed forces escalate attacks on our troops for months while the Biden administration has done nothing… While we pray for the loss of these troops, America must send a clear message that attacks on our troops will not be tolerated,” said Rep. Mike Kelly (R- PA) on X, formerly Twitter.
“I’m praying for the families of the U.S. servicemembers killed and for those injured by the attacks in Jordan. This is a troubling pattern of Iran-backed groups feeling emboldened and we must hold all of those responsible accountable for attacks on the U.S. and our allies,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D- PA) on X Sunday.
In a statement Sunday, President Joe Biden said: “We will carry on their commitment to fight terrorism. And have no doubt — we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing.”