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3 US troops killed, 34 wounded in drone strike on Jordan base

Iran-backed drone strike killed three US service members, injured 34. First deadly attack in Middle East since Israel-Hamas war. Retaliation promised.

A drone strike believed to be linked to Iran has resulted in the deaths of three U.S. service members and injuries to at least 34 others. The attack took place in northeast Jordan near the Syrian border at a support base known as Tower 22. This base provides support to the Al-Tanf Garrison in southeastern Syria, where U.S. special operations have been working alongside other countries to combat Islamic State militants.

The injuries sustained by the service members vary, with many suffering from traumatic brain injury as well as shrapnel wounds and spinal injuries. This marks the first deadly attack on U.S. forces in the Middle East since the Israel-Hamas war broke out.

The attack has been claimed by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a coalition of militias backed by Iran, as revenge for America's military presence in the region and the Palestinian death toll in Gaza. The group has claimed to have attacked a total of four military bases, including three U.S. bases in Syria and on the Syrian-Jordanian border, as well as one belonging to Israel. The U.S. has not confirmed any other attacks at this time.

The White House has stated that it is still gathering information, but has reiterated its commitment to fighting terrorism and has vowed to retaliate. President Biden has stated, "Have no doubt -- we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner of our choosing."

The U.S. Central Command is currently in the process of notifying the families of the service members affected by the attack. There are approximately 900 U.S. troops stationed in Syria and 2,500 in Iraq, primarily to help combat ISIS. Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, Iranian-linked forces have carried out more than 140 attacks in these two countries.

This recent attack is not the first time that U.S. service members have been targeted. Earlier this month, a "number" of U.S. military personnel were evaluated for traumatic brain injuries after Iran-backed groups launched multiple ballistic missiles and rockets on an airbase in western Iraq. In December, three U.S. service members were injured, one critically, by a drone strike in northern Iraq. In response, the U.S. carried out multiple airstrikes against facilities used by militants.

The situation in the Middle East remains tense, and the U.S. is working to contain the conflict and prevent it from spreading further in the region. The ongoing presence of U.S. troops in the region continues to be a point of contention and a target for attacks by groups opposed to their presence.

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