Iran has rejected allegations that it was responsible for a drone strike resulting in the deaths of three U.S. troops at a military base in northeast Jordan on Sunday. The Iran-backed militia, Islamic Resistance in Iraq, claimed responsibility for four attacks in the area, including the strike on the U.S. Tower 22 base.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Nasser Kanaani, emphasized that regional resistance factions operate independently and do not take orders from Iran. He stated that Iran does not interfere in decisions made by these factions regarding support for Palestine or self-defense.
Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh attributed the attack to an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-backed militia, and the U.S. is working to identify the specific group. Singh accused Iran of arming and equipping such groups, holding them responsible for the attacks.
According to a U.S. defense official, initial reports indicate that a drone targeted the Tower 22 base during the early morning hours.
The attack occurred as a U.S. drone was returning from a mission, and the auto-response features of the air defense system were turned off to avoid interfering with the returning American drone. This resulted in minimal warning for the incoming attack.
During the attack, most of the approximately 350 U.S. troops at the base were in their sleeping quarters, which offered limited structural protection. Over 40 people were injured in the assault.
The Defense Department identified the three U.S. service members killed in the attack as Army reservists Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett. President Biden condemned the attack as “despicable and wholly unjust,” pledging to hold those responsible accountable.
This drone strike is considered one of the deadliest attacks on U.S. service members since the 2021 suicide bombing in Kabul during the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The incident is part of a series of rocket and drone attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting U.S. forces in the region. These attacks have intensified amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which is also supported by Iran.