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3 US soldiers killed and many more hurt in drone attack on a base in Jordan. Here’s what to know

Three US soldiers have been killed and more than 30 service members injured after Iran-backed militants launched a drone strike on a small US outpost in Jordan, US officials say.

The drone landed near living quarters at the base, located near the Syrian border, according to two US officials. At least three service members were evacuated for medical treatment, the officials said, and the injury toll is expected to rise as more personnel seek treatment.

Here’s what to know:

  • Fears of a wider war: The soldiers’ deaths are the first of US service members in the Middle East since the start of the war in Gaza, with US President Joe Biden vowing those responsible will be held accountable, “at a time and in a manner our choosing.”
  • The attack comes after weeks of the US focusing on deterrence in the region, where it has been trying to prevent the war from spilling into a broader regional conflict.
  • The site of the attack: The attack took place at Tower 22, a small base near the border with Syria. US forces at the outpost are there as part of an “advise and assist” mission with Jordan.
  • It’s unclear why air defenses failed to intercept the drone, which appears to be the first known attack on Tower 22 since attacks on US and coalition forces began October 17.
  • More from the White House: Biden was briefed on the deaths Sunday morning in South Carolina, where he is making a stop on the campaign trail.
  • US Vice President Kamala Harris also made a statement on the attack Sunday, saying she and her husband mourn the loss of the soldiers killed in a “despicable attack by Iran-backed militant groups.”
  • US lawmakers call for strikes: Sen. Roger Wicker, the top Republican on the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee, called on the Biden administration to strike “directly” against Iranian targets and its leaders. The House Armed Services chairman, GOP Rep. Mike Rogers, also called on Biden to hold Iran and its proxies “accountable.”
  • Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham attacked Biden over the news, saying his administration’s “policy of deterrence has failed miserably” and calling for strikes on targets inside Iran.
  • Previous attacks: There have been numerous attacks on US and coalition forces in Iraq and Syria recently, resulting in dozens of injuries — a senior military official told reporters last week there were roughly 70. The Pentagon had previously classified most of them as minor, aside from one US soldier who was critically injured in an attack in Iraq on Christmas Day.

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