- Drone attack kills U.S. troops
- Iran-backed groups claim responsibility
- Escalating regional tensions, potential conflict
President Joe Biden stated on Sunday that the attack was carried out by radical Iranian-backed militant organisations operating in Syria and Iraq. However, exact details of the attack are still being gathered.
Jordan, a U.S. ally, issued the initial statement regarding the incident, stating it was “fighting terrorism” alongside the United States. Earlier, Jordanian government spokesperson Muhannad Mubaidin was quoted by Jordanian state television. He stated that the attack occurred across the Syrian border, outside the kingdom.
The assault occurs amid escalating tensions in the region, where Israel continues its war on Gaza in response to an attack in southern Israel by the Palestinian organisation Hamas, which Israeli authorities claim killed at least 1,139 people.
Anxieties have risen about the potential for a regional conflagration, with Red Sea shipping being targeted by Yemen’s Houthi rebels and Israel and the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah engaging in cross-border gunfire almost daily.
Tehran-backed militias have intensified strikes on US military positions in Iraq and Syria in recent weeks. This increase in attacks is in retaliation for the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip.
In response to attacks on American forces, the United States has struck targets in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen in recent months to deter the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels from continuing to threaten commercial shipping in the Red Sea.
“Iran’s stance thus far has been unambiguous. They assert that Iran does not conduct or plot these attacks. They assert that Iran maintains regional allies, but these allies make their own decisions,” he continued.
Also a senior research fellow at the Soufan Group Colin Clarke stated that these attacks indicate a “regional war.”
“It is indisputable. American forces have been killed, and the United States will retaliate with force. Whether against Iranian proxies in the various countries where it operates or against Iran itself,” he said.
“Iran may maintain whatever distance it desires from these organisations, but it finances, trains, and equips them. The Biden administration will also be under pressure to show that the US will not allow Iranian-backed militias killing US personnel.
Clarke stated, “The question now is what form this response will take.”