Jordan said Sunday a drone attack that killed three US troops did not occur on its territory as Washington reported earlier but at an army base in Syria near the border.
Government spokesperson Muhannad Mubaidin said the “attack that targeted the American forces did not happen in Jordan… It targeted Al-Tanf base in Syria”, where US forces are deployed as part of an international anti-jihadist coalition.
It is the first time American military personnel have been killed by hostile fire in the Middle East since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, and the incident will further raise tensions in the region and fuel fears of a broader conflict directly involving Iran.
Hamas said the death of the soldiers shows Washington’s backing for Israel could put it at odds with the whole Muslim world if innocent lives continue to be lost in Gaza, and that the war there could lead to a “regional explosion.”
“While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement on the attack.
“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 of our choosing,” the president added.
Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said the killing of the soldiers “is a message to the American administration that unless the killing of innocent people in Gaza stops, it may be faced with the entire (Muslim) nation.”
“The continuation of the American-Zionist aggression on Gaza risks a regional explosion,” Abu Zuhri said in a statement.
US and allied forces in Iraq and Syria have been targeted in more than 150 attacks since mid-October, according to the Pentagon, and Washington has carried out retaliatory strikes in both countries.
Many of the attacks on US personnel have been claimed by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a loose alliance of Iran-linked armed groups that oppose US support for Israel in the Gaza conflict.
On Sunday, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq said it targeted US personnel with drones at three locations in Syria, including two bases near where the borders of Iraq, Syria and Jordan meet, but it was not immediately clear if the group was referring to the attack that killed the American troops.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)