Drone and rocket attacks by Iran and its jihadist militias across the region have killed and injured American soldiers, but not this many, and this attack took place not in Iraq but in Jordan, which is supposed to be safe territory.
The current reports are that three American soldiers were killed and over 30 wounded in an attack on a position known as Tower 22. This was a position that the United States was using to coordinate attacks on Islamic State in Syria. (Jordan, with the typical fidelity we can expect of allies in the Muslim world, already declared that it considers the area to be Syria and has nothing to do with it.)
The drone was reportedly launched by an Iranian-backed jihadist militia in Syria. There’s plenty of those as the Syrian government is effectively non-functional and a puppet of Iran and Russia, which bailed it out during the civil war. Hezbollah and every bunch of Shi’ite jihadists in the region have a presence in Syria.
The actual attack was labeled as coming from the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, which is a name for an umbrella group of Shi’ite jihadists which have been used by Iran to attack American targets while providing some plausible deniability for the PMUs and Shi’ite militias linked to the Shi’ite regime in Baghdad which are actually behind it. But while the militias and jihadists have previously aimed attacks at Israel, this is the first attack in Jordan. American forces were clearly not expecting an attack in Jordan.
In response to the attack, Biden issued a statement that sounds good until you get to the end:
“Today, America’s heart is heavy. Last night, three U.S. service members were killed—and many wounded—during an unmanned aerial drone attack on our forces stationed in northeast Jordan near the Syria border. While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq.
“Jill and I join the families and friends of our fallen—and Americans across the country—in grieving the loss of these warriors in this despicable and wholly unjust attack. These service members embodied the very best of our nation: Unwavering in their bravery. Unflinching in their duty. Unbending in their commitment to our country—risking their own safety for the safety of their fellow Americans, and our allies and partners with whom we stand in the fight against terrorism. It is a fight we will not cease.
“The three American service members we lost were patriots in the highest sense. And their ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten by our nation. Together, we will keep the sacred obligation we bear to their families. We will strive to be worthy of their honor and valor. We will carry on their commitment to fight terrorism. And have no doubt—we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing.”
“A time and manner of our choosing” says it all. This is the same existing failed policy.
Biden has allowed Iran to seize control of navigation through the Red Sea. In response to attacks in Iraq, he has announced a withdrawal from Iraq. And now Iran is expanding its zone of operations to attack American targets in Syria and Jordan.
Iran expects Biden to respond with more withdrawals. And it’s probably right.
Hamas has its own message.
“Hamas senior official Sami Abu Zuhri responded to the attack on Sunday saying ‘The killing of three American soldiers is a message to the American administration that unless the killing of innocents in Gaza stops, it must confront the entire nation,” reported The Jerusalem Post.
By “nation”, Hamas means the Islamic ummah, or simply Islam.