U.S. Military Names Three American Soldiers Killed in Jordan Drone Attackthedigitalchaps


The U.S. military has identified the three U.S. troops killed by an Iran-backed drone strike in Jordan over the weekend.

The one-way attack killed Sergeant William Rivers 46, Specialist Kennedy Sanders, 24, and Specialist Breonna Moffett, 23, Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters Monday.

They worked for the 718th Engineer Company, 926th Engineer Battalion, and 926th Engineer Brigade, in Fort Moore, Georgia.

The attack is the first known to have killed Americans in the Middle East since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. It is the first known attack targeting American troops in Jordan since Oct. 7.

“The three American service members we lost were patriots in the highest sense. And their ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten by our nation,” President Joe Biden said in a written statement following the attack.

“Our family would like to thank you for the respect given to Kennedy. Munchkin will be missed by many,” Kennedy Sanders’ husband, Shawn, wrote on Facebook. Flags in the city of Waycross, Georgia, will be flown at half-mast, he said.

The drone strike, which hit sources stationed at a logistics support base known as Tower 22 in northeast Jordan near the Syrian border, also wounded over 40 people, according to Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh. Eight troops evacuated Jordan to seek treatment, but were stable as of Sunday evening.

The 350 U.S. Army and Air Force personnel deployed there have been working as part of the coalition to defeat ISIS, CENTCOM said.

The tragic deaths come after months of escalating tensions in the Middle East—tensions that U.S. officials had hoped would not put the lives of American servicemen at risk. Iran-backed groups have been targeting U.S. entities in Iraq and Syria, and Iran-backed Houthi rebels have been attacking global shipping lanes in the Red Sea, since the start of Israel-Hamas war in Gaza on Oct. 7.

Iran has denied responsibility for the Sunday attack.

The Pentagon said Monday the attack has the footprints of Kataib Hezbollah, adding that “Iran is behind” the attack. Singh clarified that the Department of Defense is not prepared to make a final assessment of responsibility right now.

Previously, the Houthi rebels have stated they would let up on attacks in the Red Sea if Israel stops its military campaign in Gaza.

Experts had warned it was only a matter of time before a miscalculation or deliberate act in the Middle East took American lives, forcing the Biden administration to respond and raising the risk of embroiling the United States in yet another war in the Middle East.

President Joe Biden has vowed to respond to the deadly attack.

“We had a tough day last night in the Middle East. We lost three brave souls in an attack on one of our bases,” Biden said on Sunday. “And we shall respond.”

“We will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing,” Biden added in a written statement.

It’s not clear what course of action the Biden administration will take next. White House National Security Council coordinator John Kirby reiterated that the United States does not want a war with Iran.

“We are not looking for a war with Iran. We are not looking to escalate the conflict in the region,” Kirby said on the NBC Today show. “Obviously, these attacks keep coming. We’ll keep looking at the options.”

The incident has left many lawmakers wondering if the deaths of the Americans in the Middle East was inevitable. Responding to the recent spate of attacks in Iraq and Syria last week, the military attacked three targets in Iraq tied to Kataib Hezbollah and other Iran-affiliated groups. The strikes hit headquarters, storage, and training locations for rocket, missile, and drone operations, CENTCOM said.

Lawmakers have accused the Biden administration of not taking harsh enough actions to thwart future attacks.

“When the Biden Administration says ‘don’t’, the Iranians ‘do,’” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said in a statement Sunday. “The Biden Administration’s rhetoric is falling on deaf ears in Iran. Their policy of deterrence against Iran has failed miserably.”

Graham called on the Biden administration to strike within Iran to retaliate and to deter future attacks. “The only thing the Iranian regime understands is force. Until they pay a price with their infrastructure and their personnel, the attacks on U.S. troops will continue,” he said.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, echoed the call to attack Iranian targets.

“We must respond to these repeated attacks by Iran and its proxies by striking directly against Iranian targets and its leadership,” Wicker said. “The Biden administration’s responses thus far have only invited more attacks.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, called on the Biden Administration to send a “clear and decisive message” to Iran.

“As a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, every day, I see the malicious work of Iran and its network of terrorist proxy groups they directly command, from Hamas to Hezbollah to the Houthis,” he said. “It is clear that their sole objective is to wreak havoc, create violence, cause instability, and cowardly murder service men and women protecting our democracy and way of life.”