Monday Briefing: U.S. Service Members Killed in Jordan

Three U.S. service members were killed in Jordan yesterday and 25 others were injured in what the U.S. said was a drone strike from an Iran-backed militia. The deaths were the first U.S. military fatalities from hostile fire in the turmoil spilling over from Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza.

The attack happened at a base near the Syrian border. Few details were immediately available, but the deaths of U.S. service members will almost certainly put more pressure on President Biden to respond more forcefully as turmoil grows in the Middle East after the Oct. 7 attacks.

“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,” Biden said in a statement.

In Iraq: This month, at least four U.S. service members were injured when their base came under fire from what the U.S. said were Iran-backed militias.

Near Yemen: Last Sunday, the U.S. declared two Navy SEALs dead after they disappeared during an operation at sea to intercept weapons from Iran headed to Houthi fighters. They were the first known U.S. fatalities in Washington’s campaign against the Iran-backed militia, which has fired on commercial ships off Yemen since November.

A temporary cease-fire? Negotiators are closing in on a deal in which Israel would pause fighting in Gaza for about two months if Hamas released more than 100 hostages.

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