Biden to receive bodies of US service members killed in Jordan attack by radical Iran-backed militias and US response to widen
President Biden on Friday at 1:30 pm ET will oversee the transfer of the bodies of three American service members who lost their lives in a drone attack carried out by Iran-backed militants last Sunday at an air base in Jordan.
The killings mark the first time that US military personnel lives have been lost in the region since the 07 October Hamas attacks on Israel.
The bodies of William Jerome Rivers, 46; Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, and Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23 will arrive at an air force base in Dover, Delaware, where they will be received with military honours.
Amongst the killings, 40 other service members were also wounded.
The White House confirmed the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, that includes the militant group Kataib Hezbollah, was responsible for the attack on Tower 22 and has vowed a “very consequential” response.
The timing of the response remains unclear, but officials confirmed plans have been approved for a series of counter strikes which are expected to be carried out imminently and could last “weeks”.
“At this point, it’s time to take away even more capability than we’ve taken in the past,” US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin said at a press conference on Thursday.
Austin continued, “How much Iran knew or didn’t know, we don’t know. But it really doesn’t matter because Iran sponsors these groups. Without that facilitation, these kinds of things don’t happen.”
He said the Pentagon is still examining the forensic details of the drone that struck Tower 22, that’s been crucial to the American presence in neighbouring Syria.
“I don’t think the adversaries are of a ‘one and done’ mindset. And so they have a lot of capability. I have a lot more,” Austin said. “We’re going to do what’s necessary to protect our troops.”