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Joe Biden vows US ‘shall respond’ after troops killed in Jordan | World News – Times of India

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In a startling overnight assault, a drone attack orchestrated by Iran-backed militants targeted a base in northeast Jordan, leading to the death of three American troops and injuring over 30. President Joe Biden has squarely blamed Iran-supported groups for the attack and assured a calculated response.
This attack marks the first loss of American lives to enemy fire in the Middle East since the onset of the Israel-Iran-backed Hamas conflict, escalating regional tensions and heightening concerns over a potential expansive conflict that may directly involve Tehran.
This incident is poised to heighten regional tensions and fuels concerns over a direct confrontation with Tehran.
Biden’s vow: In a stern statement, Biden attributed the attack to “radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” pledging to hold the perpetrators accountable. The President, during a church banquet in South Carolina, held a moment of silence for the fallen troops.
“We had a tough day last night in the Middle East. We lost three brave souls in an attack on one of our bases,” he said. After the moment of silence, Biden added, “and we shall respond.”
A warning to US
Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri interpreted the attack as a warning to the US, indicating potential wider conflict if the aggression in Gaza persists. The statement from Abu Zuhri underscored the risk of a “regional explosion” due to the ongoing American-Zionist activities in Gaza.
The US Central Command revealed the attack’s impact on a logistics base at Tower 22, confirming at least 34 injuries among the service members. The base, housing around 350 US personnel, plays a crucial role in supporting international efforts against the Islamic State.
Since the war in Gaza began October 7, Iranian-backed militias have struck American military installations in Iraq more than 60 times and in Syria more than 90 times, with a mix of drones, rockets, mortars and ballistic missiles.
The attack adds a complex layer to Biden’s challenges in an election year, with critics like Donald Trump attributing the incident to Biden’s perceived foreign policy weaknesses.
The conflict’s ramifications extend across Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, with direct involvement of American forces in some areas and retaliatory strikes against Iran-backed elements, including Yemen’s Huthi rebels.
Despite the complexities, Biden’s administration is committed to a “deliberate and proportional” response, while some congressional members advocate for a more assertive stance towards Iran to deter further aggression.
Jordan, a key ally, plays a strategic role for US military operations in the region. The recent drone strike, the first of its kind in Jordan, underscores the escalating risks American forces face amid the intensifying Middle East conflict.
Biden pressured on Iran
Republican opponents of Biden seized on the attack as evidence of the Democratic president’s failure to confront Iran as its proxies strike against US forces across the region.
“The only answer to these attacks must be devastating military retaliation against Iran’s terrorist forces … Anything less will confirm Joe Biden as a coward,” said Republican Senator Tom Cotton in a statement.
US Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Biden’s inaction was emboldening enemies of the United States in the Middle East.
“The time to start taking this aggression seriously was long before more brave Americans lost their lives,” McConnell said.
(With inputs from agencies)

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