The Department of Defense is investigating how an Iraqi militia’s “suicide” drone struck a U.S. military base in Jordan on Saturday night, evading defensive measures, killing three service members and injuring more than two dozen more.
The attack marked the first time Iran-backed militias in Syria and Iraq have killed U.S. service members. The militias have attacked U.S. positions in the Middle East more than 150 times since the onset of the Israel-Hamas war in October, the Pentagon said.
Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh told NewsNation on Monday that the circumstances are under investigation.
“We’ve seen some of this, some of these drones get through and rockets get through at other bases, causing minor injuries or minor damage to infrastructure, but certainly we’re taking a look — I know the Central Command commander is going to be looking into — just what exactly happened and how we can prevent this from happening in the future,” she said.
The Associated Press reported that the drone may have been mistaken for U.S. equipment by defensive systems, citing two military officials. The officials said the drone launched toward the base at about the same time a similar U.S. drone was in the air, potentially causing confusion.
Singh told NewsNation that the number of injured people, now reported at 25, is expected to rise as more soldiers report symptoms. Injuries vary from minor cuts and concussions to traumatic brain injuries, she said.
“The president and I will not tolerate attacks on U.S. forces, and we will take all necessary actions to defend the U.S. and our troops,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Monday.
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