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Biden decides on staggered strikes in wake of deadly drone attack

By Mandy Donalds
January 31, 2024

President Joe Biden has reported to launch multiple targeted strikes following a deadly drone attack in Jordan.

After a drone strike in Jordan killed three American service members, the U.S. government, under President Joe Biden, is preparing a series of targeted military responses. These actions, intended to be precise and measured, aim to address the facilities that facilitated the attack, according to a U.S. official who spoke with ABC News.

Understanding the attack and U.S. response

The drone attack, which took place over the weekend, marks a significant escalation in the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

This incident left three American soldiers dead and at least 40 wounded. The Pentagon has identified the deceased as Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, all part of an Army Reserve engineering unit from Georgia.

Details about the attack continue to emerge.

It is understood that the drone, operated by enemy forces, coincided with the approach of a U.S. surveillance drone, leading to confusion and the failure to deploy air defenses in time.

White House and military strategy

President Biden, addressing the situation, has confirmed the U.S. will respond but emphasized the importance of avoiding a wider conflict in the Middle East.

The nature and location of the targets for these strikes remain undisclosed, with officials maintaining a focus on avoiding escalation.

High-level discussions between the Pentagon, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), and the White House are ongoing, focusing on calibrated military options that send a clear message without intensifying tensions.

Iran's alleged role and U.S. accusations

"I do hold them responsible in that they're supplying the weapons to the people who did it," President Biden said regarding Iran's involvement.

While Iran denies any direct involvement, the U.S. holds Iran accountable for arming the militants behind the attack.

This stance has been reiterated by President Biden, who accuses Tehran of supplying weapons to the proxy groups responsible.

Iran, through a spokesperson for its mission to the U.N., has dismissed these accusations, framing the conflict as reciprocal operations between U.S. forces and resistance groups in Iraq and Syria.

Recent tensions and military perspectives

The recent drone strike is part of a series of attacks in the region, with at least 165 incidents targeting U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan since mid-October.

Retired Gen. Robert Abrams and Gen. CQ Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have commented on the delicate balance of responding effectively while avoiding broader conflict.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken also emphasized a multi-leveled, sustained response.

Political reactions and future implications

Republican leaders have voiced concerns about the current U.S. strategy in the Middle East.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul and House Speaker Mike Johnson have called for a more direct approach and a reset of Middle East policy.

These developments pose significant challenges for U.S. foreign policy, highlighting the complexities of military engagement in the Middle East and the ongoing tensions with Iran.


  • A drone attack in Jordan killed three American soldiers and wounded at least 40.
  • President Biden plans targeted military responses to the attack, avoiding broader Middle East conflict.
  • The U.S. accuses Iran of arming the militants responsible, while Iran denies direct involvement.
  • Political leaders and military officials are navigating a delicate balance in response strategy.
  • The incident adds to the ongoing challenges in U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.