Israel-Hamas War News: U.S. Identifies 3 Soldiers Killed in Drone Strike in Jordan

Air defenses did not cease an assault on a U.S. navy outpost in Jordan on Sunday that killed three American troopers a minimum of in half as a result of the hostile drone approached its goal on the identical time an American drone was returning to the bottom, two U.S. officers mentioned on Monday.

The return of the American surveillance drone to the distant resupply base triggered some confusion over whether or not the incoming drone was pleasant or not, and air defenses weren’t instantly engaged, in response to the officers, who spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate preliminary findings into a serious contributing issue to the incident. Two different drones that attacked different places close by in southeast Syria had been shot down, they added.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the drone mix-up, now on the coronary heart of an investigation by the navy’s Central Command into the lethal assault that has drawn vows of retaliation from President Biden, raised doubts about American navy defenses in the Middle East, and begged anew questions concerning the administration’s efforts to discourage assaults by Iran-backed militias in opposition to service provider vessels, warships and navy bases in the area.

The assault on Sunday killed three U.S. Army Reserve troopers, the primary identified American navy fatalities from hostile fireplace in the turmoil spilling over from Israel’s warfare with Hamas. The Pentagon on Monday raised the injured toll to a minimum of 40, with a warning that the record would most likely develop as further troops come ahead with signs of mind trauma from the blast.

Biden administration officers blamed a drone launched by an Iran-backed militia from Iraq, and suspicions on the Pentagon instantly fell on Kataib Hezbollah, an Iran-affiliated group in Iraq. “It has the footprints of Kataib Hezbollah,” Sabrina Singh, a Pentagon spokeswoman, informed reporters, noting that intelligence analysts had been nonetheless assessing the strike.

Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46, of Carrollton, Ga., from left, Spec. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23, of Savannah, Ga., and Spec. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, in pictures launched by the U.S. Army Reserve Command on Monday.Credit…U.S. Army, through Reuters

The Pentagon on Monday recognized the lifeless troopers as Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46, of Carrollton, Ga.; Spec. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, of Waycross, Ga.; and Spec. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23, of Savannah, Ga. The three troopers had been assigned to the 718th Engineer Company, 926th Engineer Battalion, 926th Engineer Brigade, an Army Reserve unit based mostly in Fort Moore, Ga.

The drone strike on the outpost in northeast Jordan close to its borders with Syria and Iraq, referred to as Tower 22, escalated hostilities in the area which have been mounting for the reason that Oct. 7 Hamas assault on Israel and the next warfare in Gaza.

Mr. Biden has vowed to retaliate, and he met for a second straight day on Monday together with his senior nationwide safety aides to debate doable targets in Syria, Iraq and Iran. Senior U.S. officers mentioned attacking Iran straight was much less seemingly, although the U.S. navy has drawn up plans to strike Iranian navy advisers and trainers in Iraq and Syria in the occasion that U.S. troops had been killed by Iran-backed militias in the Middle East.

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, on his first day again to work on the Pentagon since he was hospitalized for issues following prostate most cancers, on Monday condemned the assaults and vowed retribution.

“Let me start with my outrage and sorrow for the deaths of three brave U.S. troops in Jordan and for the other troops who were wounded,” Mr. Austin mentioned earlier than assembly with NATO’s secretary common, Jens Stoltenberg. “The president and I will not tolerate attacks on U.S. forces, and we will take all necessary actions to defend the U.S. and our troops.”

The drone strike in Jordan underscored that the Iran-backed militias — whether or not in Iran or Syria, or the Houthis in Yemen — remained able to inflicting critical penalties on American troops regardless of the U.S. navy’s efforts to weaken them and keep away from tumbling right into a wider battle, presumably with Iran itself.

American troops in Iraq and Syria, and now Jordan, have come beneath assault a minimum of 165 instances since October — 66 instances in Iraq, 98 instances in Syria and Sunday’s assault in Jordan, the Pentagon mentioned on Monday. More than 80 service members had suffered accidents, together with mind trauma, earlier than the most recent salvo.

“We know that Iran supports these groups,” John F. Kirby, a National Security Council spokesman, mentioned on Monday. “We know they resource them, we know they train them. We know that they’re certainly not discouraging these attacks.”

But Mr. Kirby added, “The degree to which they order and direct is something that intelligence analysts will look at.”

Pressed repeatedly at briefings with reporters on Monday about when and the way the United States would reply, Mr. Kirby and Ms. Singh declined to touch upon particular choices. They emphasised that the administration was searching for to avert a wider warfare in the area, whilst they blamed the assault for escalating tensions.

“We’re not looking for a war with Iran,” Mr. Kirby mentioned. “But the attacks have to stop.”

For its half, Iran on Monday denied any link to the assault and blamed Washington for igniting tensions in the area.

About 350 Army and Air Force personnel are deployed to the Tower 22 border outpost. It serves as a logistics and resupply hub for the Al Tanf garrison close by in southeastern Syria, the place American troops work with native Syrian companions to combat remnants of the Islamic State.

The one-way assault drone hit close to the outpost’s dwelling quarters, inflicting accidents that ranged from minor cuts to mind trauma, a U.S. navy official mentioned. Eight U.S. service members had been flown to Iraq for medical care, and three of these had been anticipated to be flown to Germany for much more superior remedy, Ms. Singh mentioned.

The troopers and airmen had been dwelling in containerized housing items, or CHU’s, Ms. Singh mentioned, primarily aluminum containers a bit of larger than a business delivery container. They have linoleum flooring and cots or beds inside, and may be simply transported on vans.

“What was different about this attack is where it landed,” Ms. Singh mentioned. “It was pretty early in the morning, so people were actually in their beds when the drone impacted.”

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