February 24, 2024

By Lolita C. Baldor and Aamer Madhani | Related Press

WASHINGTON — An enemy drone that killed three American troops and wounded dozens of others in Jordan might have been confused with an American drone returning to the U.S. set up, two U.S. officers mentioned Monday.

Because the enemy drone was flying in at a low altitude, a U.S. drone was returning to the small desert set up often known as Tower 22 and should have been let move by mistake, based on a preliminary report cited by the officers, who weren’t licensed to remark and insisted on anonymity.

In consequence, there was no effort to shoot down the enemy drone that hit the outpost early Sunday morning. The U.S. troops on the outpost use trailers for his or her sleeping quarters.

Officers mentioned that of the 34 wounded troops, most had cuts, bruises, traumatic mind accidents and related wounds. Eight had been medically evacuated and probably the most critically harm service member is in crucial however secure situation.

The preliminary conclusion was first reported by The Wall Avenue Journal.

Rationalization for a way the enemy drone evaded U.S. air defenses on the set up got here because the White Home mentioned Monday it’s not in search of struggle with Iran at the same time as President Joe Biden vows retaliatory motion. The Democratic administration believes Tehran was behind the strike.

Biden met with members of his nationwide safety crew within the White Home State of affairs Room to debate the most recent developments.

The brazen assault, which the Biden administration blames on Iranian-based proxies, provides one other layer of complexity to an already tense Mideast scenario because the Biden administration tries to maintain the Israel-Hamas struggle from increasing right into a broader regional battle.

“The president and I cannot tolerate assaults on U.S. forces, and we are going to take all needed actions to defend the U.S. and our troops,” Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin mentioned Monday as he met on the Pentagon with NATO Secretary Normal Jens Stoltenberg.

Biden faces a troublesome balancing act as he appears to be like to strike again in opposition to Tehran in a forceful approach with out permitting the Gaza battle to additional metastasize. The drone assault was one in every of dozens on U.S. troops within the Center East since Hamas launched assaults on Israel on Oct. 7, igniting the struggle in Gaza. But it surely’s the primary during which American service members have been killed.

Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby reiterated a day after Biden promised to “maintain all these accountable to account at a time and in a way (of) our selecting” that the U.S. administration wasn’t in search of to get into one other battle within the Center East.

However Kirby additionally made clear that the American persistence has worn skinny after greater than two months of assaults by Iranian proxies on U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria and Jordan and on the U.S. Navy and business vessels within the Crimson Sea. The teams — together with Yemen’s Houthi rebels and Iraq based mostly Kataeb Hezbollah — say the assaults are in response to Israel’s ongoing to navy operations in Gaza.

“We’re not in search of a struggle with Iran,” Kirby instructed NBC’s “At this time” present. “We’re not seeking to escalate the battle within the area. … Clearly, these assaults maintain coming. We’ll maintain trying on the choices. I can’t converse for the supreme chief or what he needs or he doesn’t need. I can inform you what we would like. What we would like is a secure, safe, affluent Center East, and we would like these assaults to cease.”

Iran on Monday denied it was behind the Jordan strike.

“These claims are made with particular political targets to reverse the realities of the area,” Iran’s state-run IRNA information company quoted overseas ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani as saying. Iran recurrently denies involvement in assaults linked again to it by the militias it arms throughout the broader Mideast.

Republicans have laid blame on Biden for doing too little to discourage Iranian militias, which have carried out some 150 assaults on U.S. troops in area for the reason that begin of the struggle.

“Biden’s response to those assaults has been disorganized, ineffective, and weak,” Republican Nationwide Committee spokesman Jake Schneider mentioned in an announcement. “Now, extra People have misplaced their lives due to Biden’s incompetence.”

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Sunday referred to as the assault “one more horrific and tragic consequence of Joe Biden’s weak point and give up.”

The assault hit a U.S. navy desert outpost within the far reaches of northeastern Jordan often known as Tower 22. The set up sits close to the demilitarized zone on the border between Jordan and Syria alongside a sandy, bulldozed berm marking the DMZ’s southern edge. The Iraqi border is just 10 kilometers (6 miles) away.

The bottom started as a Jordanian outpost watching the border, then noticed an elevated U.S. presence after American forces entered Syria in late 2015. The small set up contains U.S. engineering, aviation, logistics and safety troops, with about 350 U.S. Military and Air Pressure personnel deployed.

Iraq’s authorities condemned the drone strike in an obvious effort to distance itself from an assault probably carried out by the Iranian-backed militias which have a powerful presence inside Iraq.

Authorities spokesman Bassem al-Awadi mentioned in an announcement on Monday that Iraq is “monitoring with an ideal concern the alarming safety developments within the area” and referred to as for “an finish to the cycle of violence.” The assertion mentioned that Iraq is able to take part in diplomatic efforts to forestall additional escalation.

An umbrella group for Iran-backed factions often known as the Islamic Resistance in Iraq has claimed dozens of assaults in opposition to bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria for the reason that Israel-Hamas struggle started. On Sunday, the group claimed three drone assaults in opposition to websites in Syria, together with close to the border with Jordan, and one inside “occupied Palestine” however to this point hasn’t claimed the assault in Jordan.

The assault got here as U.S. officers had been seeing indicators of progress in negotiations to dealer a deal between Israel and Hamas to launch the greater than 100 remaining hostages being held in Gaza in alternate for an prolonged pause in preventing. Whereas contours of a deal into account wouldn’t finish the struggle, People believed that it may lay the groundwork for a sturdy decision to the battle.