Pentagon says it is not seeking war with Iran after Jordan attack

Pentagon says it is not seeking war with Iran after Jordan attack

/ 06:56 AM January 30, 2024

Pentagon says it is not seeking war with Iran after Jordan attack

US Army Reserve Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, Specialist (Spc.) Breonna Alexsondria Moffett and Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, who were killed in a drone attack on an outpost in northeast Jordan, are seen in a combination of undated photographs released by the United States Army Reserve Command. The Pentagon said it is not seeking war with Iran after the three troops were killed in a drone attack in Jordan attack on Sunday, January 28, 2024. US Army Reserve Command/Handout via REUTERS

WASHINGTON — US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday vowed the United States would take “all necessary actions” to defend its troops after a deadly drone attack in Jordan by Iran-backed militants, even as President Joe Biden’s administration stressed it was not seeking a war with Iran.

The attack on Sunday killed three US soldiers and wounded more than 40 troops. It was the first deadly strike against US troops since the Israel-Hamas war erupted in October 2023 and marked a major escalation in tensions that have engulfed the Middle East.


“Let me start with my outrage and sorrow (for) the deaths of three brave US troops in Jordan and for the other troops who were wounded,” Austin said at the Pentagon.


“The President and I will not tolerate attacks on US forces and we will take all necessary actions to defend the US and our troops,” Austin added at the start of a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Pentagon.

“As the President said yesterday, we will respond, and that response could be multi-leveled, come in stages, and be sustained over time,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

READ: Political pressure builds on Biden to strike Iran after US deaths

But officials across the Biden administration said they did not want the situation to escalate. The Pentagon suggested Iran didn’t want a war either.

“We certainly don’t seek a war, and frankly, we don’t see Iran wanting to seek a war with the United States,” Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh told reporters. She added that the Pentagon believed Iran did not want a war either.

“We are not seeking a conflict with the regime in the military way,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby said, adding that Biden was working his way through response options.


The United States is trying to determine exactly why the nearly 350 troops at the base in Jordan, known as Tower 22, were unable to stop the drone.

Two officials said a US drone was approaching the base around the same time the attack drone was incoming. One of the officials said the attack drone was also flying low, factors that may have contributed to it being missed by base defenses.

The US military released the names of the victims, the youngest of which was a 23-year-old Army Reserve specialist, Breonna Alexsondria Moffett.

US troops have been attacked over 160 times in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan since Oct.7, and warships have been attacked in the Red Sea as well. Houthi fighters in Yemen have been firing drones and missiles at them on the Red Sea.

The attacks are piling political pressure on Biden to deal a blow directly against Iran, a step he has been reluctant to take out of fear of igniting a broader war.

Biden met with Austin and other members of his national security team in the White House Situation Room on Monday morning to discuss the latest developments regarding the attack, the White House said.

The President’s options could include targeting Iranian forces outside or inside Iran and opting for a more cautious retaliatory attack solely against the Iran-backed militants responsible, experts said.

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“Iran continues to destabilize the region, this includes backing terrorists who attack our ships in the Red Sea,” Stoltenberg said.

TAGS: drone attack, Iran, Israel-Hamas war, Jordan, NATO, Pentagon, United States

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