US will 'respond' after three troops killed in drone strike, says Biden

Mr Biden said the US had a 'tough day last night in the Middle East' as the risk grew of military escalation in the region amid the Israel-Gaza war.

President Joe Biden blamed Iran-backed militias for the deadly attack on the Jordan-Syria. Tehran has said it has “no connection” to the strike

US president Joe Biden has vowed the US will act after a drone strike by what the administration said was an Iran-backed group killed three American troops in Jordan and injured dozens more near the Syrian border.

Biden said the US had a “tough day last night in the Middle East” and that “we shall respond” as the risk grew of military escalation in the region amid the Israel-Gaza war.

They are the first US fatalities after months of strikes by such groups against American forces across the Middle East since October 7.

US officials were working to conclusively identify the precise group responsible for the attack, but they have assessed that one of several Iranian-backed groups was behind it. Iran’s foreign ministry denied Tehran was behind the drone strike.

Joe Biden asked for a minutes silence to remember the three members of the US military killed in a drone attack. / Credit: AP

Biden said in a written statement that the United States “will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner (of) our choosing.”

UK foreign secretary Lord David Cameron also condemned the actions of Iranian-backed militias and renewed calls for de-escalation in the region.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Lord Cameron said: “We strongly condemn attacks by Iran-aligned militia groups against US forces. We continue to urge Iran to de-escalate in the region.

“Our thoughts are with those US personnel who have lost their lives and all those who have sustained injuries, as well as their families.”

US Central Command put the toll at three killed and 34 injured.

Since the war in Gaza began, Iranian-backed militias have struck American military installations in Iraq more than 60 times and in Syria more than 90 times with drones, rockets, mortars and ballistic missiles.

The attack on Sunday was the first targeting US troops in Jordan during the conflict and the first to result in American deaths.

The militias have said that their strikes are in retaliation for Washington’s support for Israel in the war in Gaza, and aim to push US forces out of the region.

The US in recent months has hit targets in Iraq, Syria and Yemen in response to attacks on its forces and to diminish the threats from Iranian-backed Houthi rebels to commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

The US and UK launched a second round of joint strikes against the rebels earlier this week, which appears to have done little to deter Houthi action.

US troops long have used Jordan, a kingdom bordering Iraq, Israel, the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, Saudi Arabia and Syria, as a basing point. Some 3,000 American troops typically are stationed across Jordan.

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