Airstrike in Jordan kills three U.S. soldiers

President Biden attends the “dignified transfer” in honor of the three U.S. soldiers killed. Photo Courtesy of Matt Rourke/The Associated Press.

By Briana Leibowicz Turchiaro

Boston University News Service

Three U.S. soldiers were killed and 40 service members were injured after an un-crewed aerial system struck a military base in Jordan on Jan. 28, 2024. This attack has caused President Biden to be pressured into a retaliatory response from both sides of the aisle. His attitude is perceived as crucial, especially amidst heated political tensions of the election year.

The three soldiers who were killed were identified as Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46; Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24; Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23. 

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the attack occurred early in the morning at the logistics support base located at Tower 22 of the Jordanian Defense Network. The service members stationed in this military were working in Operation Inherent Resolve, a mission to defeat ISIS.

Since October, the U.S. coalition facilities have been targeted and attacked more than 150 times in Iraq and Syria, but the most recent attack was the first ever to strike Jordan and to kill U.S. service members. The DOD and Centcom are investigating how the attack happened, said Sabrina Singh, the Deputy Pentagon press secretary. 

“We know this is an IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps)-backed militia. It has the footprints of Kataib Hezbollah,” Singh said during a briefing at the Pentagon on Jan. 29, 2024,  “But not making a final assessment on that, our teams here are continuing to do the analysis, but we know that Iran is behind it.”

The drone that was responsible for the attack has been traced back to Iran, which has raised questions about whether the U.S. will retaliate. 

The Biden Administration announced their airstrikes against Iran-backed proxies in Iraq and Syria after a ceremony at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, honoring the three soldiers killed in the airstrikes. The Biden Administration has also made it clear that these are the first of what are expected to be many retaliatory airstrikes. 

The objective of these airstrikes is to punish those allegedly responsible for the attacks and to avoid future attacks. Despite planning multiple air strikes, President Biden has assured that the goal is not to enter a war with Iran. 

Biden’s response is perceived as crucial, especially as it comes during an election year. Former president Donald Trump has taken this opportunity to express his disdain over Biden’s control of the situation. 

“This attack would NEVER have happened if I was President, not even a chance,” Trump said on his Truth Social account on Jan. 28 at 1:54 PM. “Just like the Iranian-backed Hamas attack on Israel would never have happened, the War in Ukraine would never have happened, and we would right now have Peace throughout the World. Instead, we are on the brink of World War 3…..”

Trump has connected other conflicts with the airstrike in Jordan and compared the current president’s reactions to the ones he would take. The former president has not held back from connecting this situation to Biden’s competency as president, “Our country cannot survive with Joe Biden as Commander in Chief,” said Trump on his Truth Social Account, on Jan. 28 at 1:54 PM.

The two candidates and their reactions are essential for electors and their voting choice, especially in the current politically polarizing environment of the United States.

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