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Drone Responsible for Deadly Jordan Attack Mistaken for U.S. Drone

U.S. officials are considering counterstrikes against militias in Iraq, Syria and Iran

Drone Responsible for Deadly Jordan Attack Mistaken for U.S. Drone

A drone that killed three U.S. soldiers and injured over 30 others at a military outpost in Jordan was mistaken for a U.S. drone, U.S. officials report.

In an exclusive interview with The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), officials said a returning U.S. drone caused confusion over whether the low-flying drone belonged to them or an enemy.

Though there is no current evidence that Iran is responsible for the attack, officials claim the drone was fired by a Tehran-backed militia in Iraq.

“The outpost, Tower 22, sits in Jordan, hard on the borders of Iraq and Syria,” WSJ reports. “The attack signaled an escalation in hostilities that have been growing since the Oct. 7 Hamas assault on Israel and the ensuing war in Gaza.”

The Sunday strike marks the first time American troops have died amid months of drone and missile attacks aimed at U.S. forces in the area.

President Joe Biden addressed the situation in an X post.

“Today, I was briefed by members of my national security team in the Situation Room on the latest developments regarding the attack,” he wrote Monday afternoon. “As I’ve said, we’ll hold those responsible to account at a time and in a manner of our choosing.”

On Sunday, Biden acknowledged the attack and pledged a response.

“We had a tough day last night in the Middle East,” he said during a visit in Columbia, South Carolina, per POLITICO. “We lost three brave souls in an attack on one of our bases.”

After calling for a moment of silence, Biden said, “And we shall respond.”

“The brazen attack … adds another layer of complexity to an already tense Mideast situation as the Biden administration tries to keep the Israel-Hamas war from expanding into a broader regional conflict,” Associated Press (AP) writes.

In response to the attack, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said he was “outraged and deeply saddened.”

“Iran-backed militias are responsible for these continued attacks on U.S. forces, and we will respond at a time and place of our choosing,” he said in a statement. “The President and I will not tolerate attacks on American forces, and we will take all necessary actions to defend the United States, our troops, and our interests.”

On Sunday, several politicians called for immediate action in response to the attack.

“Hit Iran now,” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham wrote on X. “Hit them hard.”

“Target Tehran,” wrote Texas Sen John Cornyn.

Broadcaster Tucker Carlson shared the senators’ comments on X and called them, “F------ lunatics.”

GOP presidential hopeful and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley similarly called for an armed response.

“What they should be doing is going after every ounce of production of those missiles,” she said, per U.S. News. “Wherever those missile sites are, you take that out. You take out the training sites. … You go after the leaders making the decisions. It’s not after Iran the country.”

She added: “Biden still to this second has not increased sanctions on Iran. … There are things we can do that are not war. … You have to be tough. That doesn’t mean starting a war. That actually means preventing a war.”

Haley received a rebuke from a man at a campaign event she hosted in South Carolina on Monday.

"No new wars!" a man shouted, interrupting her speech. "I'm done with the Military Industrial Complex. We're sick of the wars. We want America First."

"None of us want new wars," Haley countered. "None of us want new wars."

"We know where your money's coming from Nikki," the man said before tearing up what appeared to be a Haley campaign sign and leaving.

Former President Donald Trump accused Biden of sending billions of dollars to Iran, “which the Regime has used to spread bloodshed and carnage throughout the Middle East.”

“This attack would NEVER have happened if I was President, not even a chance - Just like the Iranian-backed Hamas attack on Israel would never have happened, the War in Ukraine would never have happened, and we would right now have Peace throughout the World. Instead, we are on the brink of World War 3,” he wrote on Truth Social.

He added: “This terrible day is yet more proof that we need an immediate return to PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH, so that there will be no more chaos, no more destruction, and no more loss of precious American lives. Our Country cannot survive with Joe Biden as Commander in Chief.”

During a Monday afternoon press conference, John Kirby, a spokesperson for the National Security Council at the White House, was asked if the Biden administration had ruled out airstrikes in Iran.

“We are not looking for war with Iran,” he said. “We are not looking to escalate the tensions any more than they have been escalated. In fact, everything we’ve done has been designed to try to de-escalate those tensions.”

“That said, this was a very serious attack. It had lethal consequences,” Kirby continued. “We will respond and we will respond appropriately. I’m not gonna telegraph what that’s gonna look like.”

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