The Department of Defense released the names of the three U.S. service members who perished in the drone strike on a military base in northeast Jordan.
According to a press release issued on Monday, Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, aged 46, hailing from Carrollton, Georgia, Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, aged 24, from Waycross, Georgia; and Spc.
Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, aged 23, from Savannah, Georgia, lost their life on January 28, 2024, due to an attack involving a one-way unmanned aerial system (OWUAS) that targeted their container housing units.
Francine Moffett, the mother of Spc. Moffett shared a heartfelt statement, remembering her daughter as an intelligent and beautiful young woman who brought joy to those around her.
The statement conveyed Breonna’s outgoing nature, love for laughter, and deep affection for her many friends. Moffett wore her military uniform with pride, foreseeing the military as an integral part of her life.
The release also highlighted Breonna’s involvement in various activities, including being a Drum Major for the Windsor Forest marching Knights and her passion for the ROTC.
The family expressed the profound impact of Breonna’s tragic loss and her aspirations to return after her tour, volunteer with the ROTC program, and serve as a mentor due to her genuine love for helping others.
Deputy press Secretary Sabrina Singh addressed reporters, noting the distinctive nature of the recent attack concerning its location and timing – occurring in living quarters during the early morning hours. Singh attributed the drone strike to an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-backed militia.
While the U.S. has identified groups operating in Syria and Iraq, Singh specifically pointed to Kataib Hezbollah, cautioning that a final assessment is pending.
She emphasized that U.S. forces would respond to the attack “at a time and place of their choosing.” The Defense Department is actively investigating the incident.
Later on Monday, a U.S. official indicated that the drone used in the attack appears to be of Iranian origin, specifically a “type of Shahed drone” – a one-way attack drone that Iran has reportedly supplied to Russia. The attack unfolded at Tower 22, an outpost where approximately 350 U.S. Army and Air Force personnel were stationed.
Initially reported with at least 34 injuries, the count has now risen to over 40 individuals wounded. Eight of the injured service members were evacuated, with some in critical condition yet stable, according to a defense official’s update to CBS News. The lethal strike occurred in the pre-dawn hours while the troops were in their sleeping quarters.
This tragic incident is considered the deadliest attack on U.S. service members since 13 Americans lost their lives in a suicide bombing during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.
The repercussions of this attack are far-reaching, amplifying concerns about the rising frequency of rocket and drone assaults by Iran-backed groups targeting U.S. forces in the region.