Biden: Three U.S. soldiers killed, dozens injured in drone attack in Syria

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES - JANUARY 19: US President Joe Biden delivers a speech as he hosts the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting event at the White House in Washington, DC, United States on January 19, 2024. ( Mostafa Bassim - Anadolu Agency )

Three U.S. service members were killed at least 34 were injured in an attack on the Al-Tanf American military base near the Jordanian-Syrian border, American and Jordanian officials said today.

Earlier on the U.S. Central Command said in a press release: “On January 28, three U.S. service members were killed and 25 injured from a one-way attack UAS (drone) that impacted at a base in northeast Jordan, near the Syria border.”

In a statement from the White House, U.S. President Joe Biden said: “Today, America’s heart is heavy. Last night, three U.S. service members were killed – and many wounded – during an unmanned aerial drone attack on our forces stationed in northeast Jordan near the Syria border.”

“While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” he added.

But Mohannad Mubaydeen, spokesperson for the Jordanian government, said “the attack targeting U.S. forces near the Syrian border did not take place within Jordan” but instead “targeted Al-Tanf base in Syria.”

The attack is considered as one of the deadliest recent attacks on American troops in the Middle East.

Al-Tanf, a base located within Syrian territory outside of regime control where the Syrian, Iraqi, and Jordanian borders meet, houses a number of American troops.

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The base had previously come under attack on January 4, with unidentified drones intercepted by U.S. forces before reaching the base.​​​​​​​

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq took responsibility for the attack saying: “In continuation with our approach of resisting the American occupation forces in Iraq and the region, and in response to the massacres of the Zionist entity against our people in Gaza, the mujahideen of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacked at dawn today Sunday 21.1.24 using drones. (We attacked) four enemy bases, three of which are in Syria (Al Shadadi base, Al Rukban base, Al Tanf base, and the fourth within our occupied Palestinian territories which is the Zefulkon naval facility.”

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine praised the attack and asserted that it was a natural response to American crimes in the region and “its direct involvement in the Zionist genocidal war waged by the Zionist entity against the Palestinian people.”

“The moment has come for the United States to pay for its crimes against the peoples of the region, as a direct partner in the heinous Zionist crimes against the Palestinian people, and its unlimited support for the Zionist entity.”

Meanwhile, Lebanese political expert Amal Saad said the attack represents a huge escalation by the Resistance Axis.

“The attack signals an escalation in intensity and scope; it sends the message that the current moderate intensity regional war could potentially extend to bases in the Gulf and become higher intensity and much more costly for the U.S.”

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