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Outraged, deeply saddened by deaths of three US Army soldiers: Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin | World News – Times of India

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WASHINGTON: US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has said he is “outraged” and “deeply saddened” by the deaths of three US Army soldiers in a drone attack on a small American outpost in Jordan.
“I am outraged and deeply saddened by the deaths of three of our US service members and the wounding of other American troops in an attack last night against US and Coalition forces, who were deployed to a site in northeastern Jordan near the Syrian border to work for the lasting defeat of ISIS,” the US Defence Secretary said in a statement released by the Department of Defence.
Austin said that US President Joe Biden and “I will not tolerate attacks on American forces, and we will take all necessary actions to defend the United States, our troops, and our interests.”
He said that Iran-backed militias are responsible for these continued attacks on US forces, and “we will respond at a time and place of our choosing.”
“These brave Americans and their families are in my prayers, and the entire Department of Defence mourns their loss,” he said.
The drone attack marks the first instance of US troops being killed by enemy fire in the Middle East since the commencement of the Gaza war.
The attack targeted Tower 22 in Jordan, near the Syrian border, escalating an already precarious situation in the region. According to US officials, the drone responsible was launched by Iran-backed militants and seemed to originate from Syria, according to CNN.
US Central Command officially confirmed the casualties, stating that three service members were killed and 25 were injured in a one-way drone attack that struck a base in northeast Jordan.
President Joe Biden vowed to hold those responsible to account, asserting that the attack was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq.
“These service members embodied the very best of our nation: unwavering in their bravery, unflinching in their duty, unbending in their commitment to our country — risking their own safety for the safety of their fellow Americans and our allies and partners with whom we stand in the fight against terrorism,” President Biden remarked.
He emphasised that the responsible parties would be held accountable at a time and in a manner chosen by the United States.
As of last Friday, over 158 attacks had been reported on US and coalition forces in Iraq and Syria. Despite the constant barrage of drones, rockets, and missiles, most have been deemed unsuccessful, causing minimal injury or damage. It remains unclear why air defences failed to intercept the drone in this particular incident.
The attack on Tower 22 is the first known assault since the onslaught on US and coalition forces began on October 17. US forces at the outpost are part of an advise-and-assist mission with Jordan. Officials reiterated their reluctance to see heightened tensions evolve into a regional war, despite the increasing frequency of attacks.





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