According to the American newspaper, there have been more than 150 attacks by Iranian-backed militias against American forces in the region since the events of October 7th. And the attack in Jordan “was not fundamentally different from what American forces experienced for more than three months”, according to the “NYT” – “other than the fact that it was more successful”.
The background mentioned: Although most of the attacks were previously repelled or caused little or no damage, three US soldiers were killed and more than 40 other people were injured in the attack in Jordan. On Monday, the US Department of Defense announced the names of the three people killed.
AP/Jacquelyn Martin Joe Biden announced a “timely” US response after the attack
US attacks on Houthi positions
In a hastily called video conference after the attack, Biden's advisers and the US authorities involved agreed that this time a different level of response was needed than was the case in previous attacks, as the NYT also reported.
Military actions described by the US as “limited strikes” occurred recently following attacks on ships in the Red Sea against positions of Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. There have also been several US retaliatory measures against Iranian-backed groups in Iraq and Syria, CNN said, citing the open question of how far Biden will react this time.
Middle East: What can peace look like?
“We don’t want war with Iran”
“The question Biden faces is whether he simply wants to respond to events in the region or whether he wants to send a broader message that seeks to restore a sense of deterrence that has not existed in the region for months,” the newspaper quoted Brian Katulis as saying. of the Washington Middle East Institute.
According to observers, it seems more than questionable whether Biden is now also considering attacks on targets in Iran, as the Republican side has already demanded. US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby emphasized on Monday that Biden would respond “in a very consistent way.” “But we don’t want war with Iran,” Kirby told CNN. “We are not looking for a major conflict in the Middle East.”
US: Iran-backed group behind attack
According to the White House, they are still gathering the facts about the attack. As Biden said in an opening statement, the attack was carried out “by Iranian-backed radical militant groups” operating in Syria and Iraq.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella organization of radical Islamic militant groups backed by Iran, claimed responsibility for attacks on three bases, including one on the Jordan-Syria border. The Iranian mission to the United Nations, however, said the government in Tehran was not involved in the attack on three US soldiers in northeast Jordan, near the border with Syria.
Confused by the US drone?
The enemy drone was apparently mistaken for an American drone currently flying back to the US base, US media announced on Monday, with reference to an initial non-public investigation report. As a result, there were no efforts to shoot down the enemy drone, according to the AP news agency, citing people familiar with the matter who insisted on anonymity.
According to U.S. Central Command for the Middle East (CENTCOM), about 350 U.S. Army and Air Force personnel are stationed at the military base, who perform “a number of important support tasks,” including for the coalition. international campaign against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist militia.
Hamas: “Message to the US government”
According to the US press, this is the first time since the start of the war in Gaza that US soldiers have been killed in an enemy attack in the Middle East. The security situation across the region is tense due to the war that began with Hamas' Islamist attack on Israel on October 7. The US has repeatedly stressed that it fears the conflict in the Middle East could evolve into a regional war.
A senior official from Iran-backed Hamas, Sami Abu Zuhri, directly linked the attack to Israel's operation in the Gaza Strip. “The death of three American soldiers sends a message to the US government that it must confront the entire nation if the killing of innocents in Gaza does not stop,” he told Portal.
Jordan “condemned the terrorist attack on an outpost on the Syrian border,” national news agency Petra reported. Iraqi government spokesman Basim Alawadi strongly condemned the drone attack in neighboring Jordan, along with concerns about “alarming security developments in the region.”
Republicans for “devastating retaliation”
Biden's Republican opponents saw the attack as proof of the Democratic president's failure to confront Iran. “The only response to these attacks must be devastating military retaliation against Iranian terrorist forces… Anything less would confirm Joe Biden as a coward,” Republican Senator Tom Cotton said in a statement.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Biden's inaction emboldens America's enemies in the Middle East. “It’s time to take this aggression seriously.”