A surprise drone attack on a remote military base in Jordan has escalated tensions in the Middle East as American officials scramble to respond. Military intelligence believes Iranian-backed militias were responsible for the attack, and the wildly unpopular Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) wants President Joe Biden to respond more forcefully against Iran.
“Mr. President, hit Iran, and hit them now, and hit them hard to protect Americans in harm’s way.” Sen. Graham said in an interview with Fox News. Graham emphasized that he does not want a full-scale invasion of Iran, but wanted to strike Iranian targets in order to make Iran afraid to attack Americans again, or arm militias who will attack Americans.
Although military officials are not yet certain which specific militia group was responsible for the attack, they believe it was an Iranian-backed militia operating out of Syria.
The Kingdom of Jordan, a crucial American ally in the region, offers a strategic staging area for troop movements and missions to the broader region. It borders several other key Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Israel, and the West Bank.
Tower 22, the isolated military base on Jordan’s border with Syria, was the site of Sunday’s drone attack. The drone approached the base at the same time as an American surveillance drone, causing confusion that allowed it to slip past the defenses. It struck a sleeping area on the base, killing three American soldiers and wounding at least 40 other people.
All 3 US soldiers killed in Jordan drone attack were Black American Patriots from Georgia. We need a stronger President in the White House for the sake of all our troops. RIP 🇺🇸🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/x9CG1wNcL4
— 🇺🇸Crash_Here_Tonight (@TonightHere) January 29, 2024
According to the Pentagon, there have been approximately 165 attacks against American troops in the Middle East since October 17, 2023. Most of these have been less serious or only caused minor injuries, but this drone strike has escalated the scale of damage to American troops in the area.
The drone attack came during heightening tensions in the Middle East, as Israel continues its fight against Hamas in Gaza while Houthis based out of Yemen strike ships in the Red Sea.
Jordan also sees rising tensions, as many Palestinians live in Jordan, and the nation fears overwhelming numbers of refugees fleeing across the border due to Israel’s war there.
Biden said he’s decided how the U.S. will respond to the most recent attack, but has so far given no further details. It seems likely the attacks will continue, but whether they will lead to greater troop presence in the region remains to be seen.