US President Joe Biden said the US “will respond” to a drone attack in which an Iran-backed group killed three US servicemen in Jordan. Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations indicated today in a statement that Tehran was in no way involved in the attack, reported the Iranian official IRNA news agency, quoted by Reuters and BTA.
“These accusations are made for a political purpose in order to overturn the realities in the region,” said the spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Nasser Khanani, quoted by IRNA.
The comments of Iranian officials come after the statement of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who called on Tehran to “de-escalate”, according to Agence France-Presse.
Joe Biden said today that the United States “will respond” to the drone attack that killed three and wounded dozens more American servicemen in Jordan near the border with Syria, the Associated Press reported.
Biden blamed Iran-backed groups for the first human casualties of US armed forces. They come after months of similar attacks on US troops in the Middle East. The action takes place against the backdrop of the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
The American president, who was visiting the state of South Carolina, asked for a moment of silence in memory of those who died during a demonstration in a local Baptist church.
“We had a tough day last night in the Middle East. We lost three brave people in an attack on one of our bases,” he said. After a minute of silence, Biden added: “And we will respond.”
Amid a growing risk of regional escalation, US officials are trying to identify the specific group responsible for the attack. So far, it is only known that it is one of those supported by Iran.
“Without a doubt, we will hold all those responsible to account in a time and manner that we choose,” Biden announced last night.
“We will take whatever action is necessary to protect the United States, our troops, and our interests,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in turn.
Jordan yesterday condemned the “terrorist attack” and indicated that it cooperates with the United States in ensuring security along the border, Reuters reported. Earlier, a spokesman for the Jordanian government said that the attack was carried out against a US base in Syria and not on Jordanian territory, according to Reuters.
A senior Jordanian security official told Reuters that Jordan had recently asked the US for more advanced weapons, including Patriot air defense systems. The country fears that the widening of the conflict in Gaza could make it the target of attacks by the Iranian-backed and well-armed regional militias that are active along the kingdom’s borders.
The presence of American troops in Jordan is a sensitive issue in a country where anti-American sentiment runs high because of Washington’s support for Israel in its war with Hamas in Gaza.
The Jordanian government signed a defense agreement with the United States in January 2021, according to which American troops are given “unfettered access” to several Jordanian military bases, warehouses, and other facilities, according to Reuters.