President Joe Biden vowed “we will respond” to a suicide drone strike that killed three U.S. soldiers in Jordan late Saturday evening.
During a campaign stop at a church in Columbia, South Carolina, Biden held a moment of silence for the fallen and vowed retribution.
“We had a rough day in the Middle East last night. “We have lost three brave souls,” he told those gathered during his visit on Sunday.
Earlier Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called on Biden to act quickly and decisively to retaliate against Iran after the suicide drone strike sparked widespread outrage.
The Pentagon confirmed that three soldiers were killed and another 34 were injured in Saturday's attack. The main suspect remains Iran and its proxies.
“I call on the Biden administration to strike key targets in Iran, not only in retaliation for the killing of our forces, but also as a deterrent against future aggression,” the South Carolina senator wrote in a statement. “The only thing the Iranian regime understands is violence. Until they pay a price with their infrastructure and personnel, the attacks on US troops will continue.”
Graham urged Biden: 'Hit Iran now.' Hit 'em hard.'
President Joe Biden told campaign attendees at a church in Columbia, South Carolina, on Sunday that the U.S. will “respond” to the Iranian drone strike in Jordan that killed three U.S. soldiers
The drone strike hit a US outpost in the northeast of the country called Tower 42, near the Syrian border, leaving at least 34 others injured
The drone strikes late Saturday were carried out at a base in northeastern Jordan, near the Syrian border, and are believed to be carried out by Iran, Hezbollah's main backer.
The suicide attack comes at a time when the conflict in the war-torn region continues to escalate, with the war between Israel and Hamas terrorists in Gaza still ongoing and Iran currently conducting airstrikes with US ally Pakistan.
House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul also accused the Biden administration of being too weak on Iran and creating a foreign policy environment in which it believed it could get away with it.
“Iran’s proxies have launched over 150 attacks on U.S. troops since October, while the Iran-backed Houthis attack global shipping and the Iran-backed Hezbollah and Hamas attack our ally Israel,” McCaul wrote. “The Biden administration’s failed Middle East policy has destroyed our deterrence against adversaries in the Middle East.”
“We need a comprehensive reorientation of our Middle East policy to protect our national security interests and restore deterrence.”
Former President Donald Trump also released a statement about the tragedy.
“The drone strike on a U.S. military facility in Jordan that killed three American soldiers and injured many more marks a terrible day for America,” Trump said. “My deepest condolences go out to the families of the brave service members we lost.”
“This brazen attack on the United States is another terrible and tragic consequence of Joe Biden's weakness and capitulation,” he claimed, claiming Biden's policies had brought the US “to the brink of a third world war.”
“This terrible day is further evidence that we need an immediate return to PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH so that there will be no more chaos, destruction and loss of precious American lives.” “Our country cannot survive with Joe Biden as Commander in Chief.” , wrote Trump.
Senator Lindsey Graham urged Biden: “Hit Iran now.” Hit them hard.
Biden held a moment of silence at Columbia Church on Sunday, January 28, in memory of the three fallen soldiers. “We had a rough day in the Middle East last night. “We have lost three brave souls,” the president said
Three American soldiers were killed in a suicide drone attack on a US base in Jordan, US Central Command (CENTCOM) said on Sunday. Pictured: Marines talk to their fellow soldiers on the ground during military exercises in the Middle Eastern country, which borders Syria and Iraq
President Biden issued a statement Sunday mourning the loss of the slain service members – the latest fatality amid ongoing unrest in the Middle East.
“Today America’s heart is heavy,” Biden wrote, before confirming that the attack on the small US outpost known as Tower 42 had been successful.
“Last night, three U.S. soldiers were killed – and many injured – in an unmanned drone strike on our forces stationed in northeastern Jordan near the Syrian border,” Biden’s statement said. “While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know that it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq.”
He added that the three fallen soldiers “embodyed the very best of our nation” and said they “put their own safety at risk for the safety of their fellow Americans and our allies and partners with whom we work in the fight against terrorism “.
“It is a fight we will not give up,” declared the 81-year-old Biden.
While the militants responsible were not named, the statement confirmed that the attack was the work of anti-Western jihadists operating somewhere in the region.
As of Sunday, both countries have a host of Iran-aligned militias, including Hezbollah and several other Shiite militant groups.
As of Sunday morning, Iran – the main backer of the anti-Israel group Hezbollah – and its proxies were the main suspects, officials said. Pictured: U.S. Marines monitor Eager Lion multinational military exercises in Quweira, a city in Jordan that is closer to Israel
An outspoken enemy of both the US and Israel, Iran is currently training the Hezbollah militia group (here in Baghdad in 2019), which has been trying to join the Palestinian cause for years. The group has not been named as responsible for Saturday's attack
Since the Syrian war in 2011, Iran has also supported several Palestinian terrorist groups based in the Gaza Strip, as well as various terrorist groups in Bahrain and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Since the war – which served to intensify Iran's economic, political and religious operations in the country – Iran has openly used its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force (IRGC-QF) to finance these terrorist organizations.
In 2019, the nuclear-capable country recognized the IRGC-QF's involvement in the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, prompting the US to designate the Iranian army as a foreign terrorist organization.
Regional militants and proxy groups are also known to deny Iran conducts such attacks and shield it from responsibility for its destabilizing policies.
The country is also currently engaged in an artillery game with its own neighbor Pakistan, one of NATO's key allies in the Middle East.
The country is also currently engaged in an artillery game with its own neighbor Pakistan, one of NATO's key allies in the Middle East. Pictured: Smoke rose over the Iranian city of Saravan last Thursday
Both countries have been home to a host of Iran-aligned militias since Sunday, including Hezbollah and several other Shiite militant groups, including the Houthis, seen here as Yemenis who recently received military training from the movement at one armed people's parade hold their weapons in their hands and chant slogans. On December 2nd he travels to Israel to the Gaza Strip to fight there
Just last week, the Pakistani air force launched retaliatory strikes on two suspected militant positions in Iran, days after an Iranian airstrike killed two children at home.
The airstrikes in Sistan and Balochistan province killed at least seven people – and heightened pre-existing tensions between the two nations and the region as a whole.
They have also contributed to the death toll in the Middle East since the conflict erupted in Gaza in October reaching well into the thousands.
A few weeks ago, Pakistan recalled its ambassador from Tehran over Iran's attacks on Tuesday in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province. Iran claimed it targeted bases of a militant Sunni separatist group.
The attack was strongly condemned by Pakistan, which denounced the attack as a “flagrant violation” of its airspace and said it killed two children.
If Marhamati's account of the victims is correct, the country has repeated Pakistan's crime of killing minors at least twice.
As the Iranians continue to assess the full extent of the attack, the war rages on more than a thousand miles west in Israel.
Another 1,000 miles southwest, the U.S. carried out four new strikes in Yemen, targeting anti-ship ballistic missiles used by another Iranian-backed rebel group, the Houthis.
Earlier this month, shortly after Iran's attack on Pakistani soil, the group warned that British and American ships in the Red Sea had now become “legitimate targets” given the state of the larger conflict
Since then, the Houthis have sporadically attacked ships in the region, with attacks increasing recently.
Another 1,000 miles southwest, the U.S. carried out four new strikes in Yemen, targeting anti-ship ballistic missiles used by the Houthis, another Iran-backed group that opposes U.S. involvement in the region
Two weeks ago, shortly after the Iranian attack on Pakistani soil (seen here), the Iran-backed group warned that British and American ships in the Red Sea had now become “legitimate targets” after jointly attacking one another's military sites group supported by Iran, the Houthis
The series of incidents has raised concerns that the Israeli offensive could trigger a wider conflict and a simultaneous rise in gas prices, which is also one of the most important routes for oil and liquefied natural gas shipments in the Middle East
In response, the US launched Operation Prosperity Guardian – an international coalition to protect the region, in which many other countries, including Spain and the United Kingdom, took part.
According to reports, 1,200 merchant ships have sailed through the sea since the operation began in December, but none were hit by drone or missile attacks until the first phase of Sunday's attack, when militants attacked the Hangzhou with multiple missiles.
US Navy Vice Admiral Brad Cooper warned on Friday that despite the task force, the Houthis appeared unwilling to end their “ruthless” attacks after attacking more than 100 ships in the Red Sea since November.
Sunday's attack shows the group's continued determination to support Hamas, which Israel recently pledged to continue trying to eradicate.
The incidents have raised concerns that the Israeli offensive could trigger a wider conflict while increasing gas prices, which is also one of the most important routes for oil and liquefied natural gas shipments in the Middle East.
has contacted the Navy for comment.
Meanwhile, the official representative of Jordan's Cabinet of Ministers denied on Sunday that Saturday's attack even took place in the country, saying it instead took place at a known US military base in Tanf, Syria, and not on Jordanian territory.
The US has yet to confirm these claims, but has issued statements citing American intelligence to suggest otherwise.
It has yet to be announced which military branches the soldiers belonged to on Sunday.