President Biden’s Stance on Escalating Tensions
In response to the recent attack on US troops in Jordan, President Biden has held Iran responsible for supplying the weapons used in the assault. However, he has made it clear that he does not want to escalate tensions with Iran. “I don’t think we need a wider war in the Middle East,” he stated. “That’s not what I’m looking for.”
US Officials Determine Responsibility
US officials are currently working to determine which Iran-backed group was behind the attack on American troops. This incident marks the first killing of US military personnel in a series of attacks against US forces in the region since the Hamas assault on Israel on October 7.
Retaliatory Plan Under Consideration
President Biden did not disclose a specific retaliatory plan but indicated that the response will likely come in phases. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby suggested that the US may employ a tiered approach, involving multiple actions over time.
Victims of the Attack
The Pentagon has identified the three soldiers killed in the Jordan strike as Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett. The Army Reserve has posthumously promoted Sanders and Moffett to the rank of sergeant.
Continuing Threats in the Region
Since October 18, there have been a total of 166 attacks on US military installations, with 67 in Iraq, 98 in Syria, and now one in Jordan. Additionally, Houthi militants based in Yemen have been targeting commercial vessels in the Red Sea, resulting in retaliatory strikes from the US and its allies.
On Tuesday, Al-Asad Air Base in western Iraq was targeted by a single rocket but fortunately, no damage or injuries were reported. These three soldiers killed in the Jordan strike mark the first US military fatalities in the Middle East from enemy fire since the conflict between Israel and Hamas began. It is worth noting that a contractor also died due to a heart attack after a strike on Al-Asad in December. Furthermore, two US Navy SEALs who went missing during a mission in the Red Sea have been declared dead.