US troops killed in Jordan attack: As it happened
Three US Army soldiers were killed and over 30 service personnel were injured in a weekend drone attack on a small US outpost in Jordan, near the country’s Syrian border, according to US Central Command (CENTCOM).
This is the first instance of American troops being killed by enemy fire in the region since the onset of the Gaza war.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq – an umbrella group for Shia militias – has claimed responsibility for the attack.
President Joe Biden has pledged to hold those responsible for the attack to account, attributing it to “radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq.”
30 January 202407:40 GMT
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- 07:39 GMT
The US lost three of its service members in a drone strike in Jordan because President Joe Biden “was scared of his own shadow,” Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley told CNBC on Monday.
She stressed that the US leader has failed to prevent dozens of strikes in the region, arguing that he needed to “punch back hard” against Iran-linked groups. Tehran has denied any involvement in the attacks.
Haley also stated that the US should be “going after every ounce of production of those missiles,” while targeting training sites and leaders who have orchestrated the attacks.
- 05:08 GMT
The situation in the Middle East is currently more tense than ever in the past four decades, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“I would argue that we have not seen a situation as dangerous as the one we’re facing now across the region since at least 1973. And arguably, even before that,” Blinken said on Monday, referring to the two-week-long Yom Kippur War. “I think it’s very important to note that this is an incredibly volatile time in the Middle East.”
- 04:19 GMT
Qatar has expressed concerns that US retaliation for the deadly drone strike in Jordan may derail the ongoing efforts to negotiate a hostage deal between Israel and Hamas.
“I hope that nothing would undermine the efforts that we are doing or jeopardize the process,” Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al Thani said on Monday.
US President Joe Biden deployed CIA Director William Burns to try and broker the prisoner-swap deal with high-level diplomatic and intelligence officials from Israel, Egypt, and Qatar, although it remains unclear what exactly Burns discussed with Sheikh Mohammed and other officials in Paris on Sunday.
- 02:55 GMT
Washington’s reprisal for the drone attack in Jordan “is likely to be more powerful than previous American retaliatory strikes in Iraq and Syria,” anonymous officials told CNN, adding that the Pentagon and the White House “are being careful not to telegraph the administration’s plans.”
“We’re not taking anything off the table,” an unnamed US defense source told CNN.
- 02:41 GMT
Facing a growing pressure from both critics and allies, President Biden has ordered his advisers to “present a range of US response options that would forcefully deter other attacks [against American troops] while also not further inflaming a smoldering region,” Politico reported, citing two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly.
- 01:39 GMT
Tehran has once again denied any involvement in the deadly drone strike against American troops in Jordan, as well as other attacks on US personnel and facilities in the region, according to a letter by Iran’s permanent representative to the UN, Amir Saeid Iravani.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran categorically rejects these unfounded allegations,” Iravani wrote, adding that “there is no group affiliated with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s armed forces, whether in Iraq, Syria, or elsewhere, that operates directly or indirectly under the control of the Islamic Republic of Iran or acts on its behalf.”
“Therefore, the Islamic Republic of Iran is not responsible for the actions of any individual or group within the region,” the diplomat emphasized.
29 January 202423:51 GMT
US President Joe Biden has vowed to hold all those responsible for the deadly strike on American troops to account “at a time and in a manner of our choosing,” according to a post on X (formerly Twitter) following a national security briefing earlier in the day.
Today, I was briefed by members of my national security team in the Situation Room on the latest developments regarding the attack on U.S. service members in northeastern Jordan.As I've said, we'll hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner of our choosing. pic.twitter.com/pLScFuXjk2— President Biden (@POTUS) January 29, 2024
- 23:45 GMT
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has voiced his “outrage and sorrow” over the deaths and injuries of American servicemembers, promising to take action to prevent such incidents.
“The President and I will not tolerate attacks on US forces and we will take all necessary actions to defend the US and our troops,” he said on Monday.
- 23:32 GMT
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has offered “deepest condolences for the US troops killed and wounded in Jordan” as he accused Tehran of “destabilizing the region” following a drone attack by an alleged Iranian-backed group on an American military outpost.
“This demonstrates once again, the risk that servicemen are exposed to when they stand up for our values and take part in missions and operations where we protect freedom and the values we all believe in. Iran continues to destabilize the region. This includes backing terrorists who attack our ships in the Red Sea and the US is leading international efforts to end these attacks,” the bloc’s chief said during a meeting with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday.
With @SecDef Austin, #NATO Secretary General @jensstoltenberg expressed condolences for the US casualties in the drone attack in #Jordan: “This demonstrates the risk that servicemen are exposed to when they stand up for our values”. “Iran continues to destabilise the region.” pic.twitter.com/OXoHxhl8Bo— Dylan White (@NATOpress) January 29, 2024