Top officials from Iran denied that they were involved in the deadly weekend attack at a U.S. military base in Jordan that ultimately killed three American troop.s
Nasser Kanaani, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said the multiple groups that Tehran backs throughout the Middle East don’t take their orders directly from Iran.
In a statement that was provided to the Islamic Republic News Agency — a state-run media organization — Kanaani said:
“The Islamic Republic has no involvement in the resistance groups’ decisions on the way they support the Palestinian nation or defend themselves and the people or their countries in the face of any aggression and occupation.”
The attack was a drone strike that happened on Sunday. In addition to the three American service members who were killed, another 24 people were injured in the attack. It happened at the Tower 22 base located in Jordan, which is located near the country’s southeastern border with Syria.
President Joe Biden blamed the attack on “radical Iran-backed militant groups,” vowing in the process that the U.S. would issue a big response.
On Tuesday, Biden spoke to reporters, saying he has already decided what the U.S. response would be, though he didn’t divulge any details about it.
While the U.S. is planning a counterstrike to deter further attacks by the Iran-backed militant groups, the president also said he was hoping that a wider conflict in the region wouldn’t erupt.
As he explained to reporters:
“I don’t think we need a wider war in the Middle East. That’s not what I’m looking for.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Biden spoke with the family members of the soldiers who were killed, 23-year-old Breonna Moffet, 24-year-old Kennedy Sanders and 46-year-old William Rivers — all who are sergeants and all who are from Georgia.
U.S. officials said that the president would attend a planned dignified transfer on Friday, which will take place at the Dover Air Force Base.
John Kirby, the spokesman for the National Security Council, said that when he met with the families, Biden told them “how proud we all are of their service, how we mourn and feel this sorrow over their loss. [Biden] made sure that those families knew that not only was that service and sacrifice going to be honored and respected but that they will continue to get the support that they need.”
Since the terrorist group Hamas attacked Israel in early October, killing more than 1,200 people in the process, U.S. bases in Syria and Iraq have been targeted by various militias supported by Iran more than 150 times.
Houthi rebels — a proxy group that Iran backs — is also engaged in fighting American military forces in Yemen and the Red Sea.
Yet, Sunday’s drone attack was a significant escalation of all that fighting, since it marked the first time that Americans were killed during any of the fighting.