A drone strike that killed three American troops and wounded dozens of others Sunday in Jordan evaded U.S. detection because of a mixup before the attack, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
A drone operated by Iran-backed militants attacked a facility called Tower 22 at the base near the borders of Syria and Iraq.
Neither the Pentagon nor the White House has said exactly which group was responsible for the attack.
The Associated Press reported Monday that U.S. military officials were assessing the situation.
According to the Journal, the deadly attack succeeded in part because of a miscommunication in defending the base.
“The U.S. failed to stop a deadly attack on an American military outpost in Jordan because the enemy drone approached its target at the same time a U.S. drone was also returning to base, U.S. officials said Monday,” the outlet reported.
“The return of the U.S. drone led to some confusion over whether the incoming drone was friend or foe, officials have concluded so far,” it said.
The Journal said a location inside Iraq had been identified as the source of the drone attack.
“The enemy drone was launched from Iraq by a militia backed by Tehran, U.S. officials said. The outpost, Tower 22, sits in Jordan, hard on the borders of Iraq and Syria,” the report said.
The Drone Attack by Iranian-Backed Forces this weekend on the Tower 22 Patrol and Operations Base in Northeastern Jordan was Successful due to a Confusion by U.S. Air Defenses, which led them to believe an Incoming Hostile Drone was a Friendly Drone that was Returning to Base. pic.twitter.com/vT8kl3ON0M
— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) January 29, 2024
A Pentagon official said there is an effort to identify whether Iran was directly responsible for the attack.
The death of the U.S. troops has inspired calls to attack Tehran directly:
Target Tehran https://t.co/KLzQC9zRC0
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) January 28, 2024
Hit Iran now. Hit them hard.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 28, 2024
I’ve warned for months that President Biden’s weakness and unwillingness to respond to Iran’s proxy attacks would result in American deaths.
Now they have, and more will follow unless we respond with massive retaliation.
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) January 29, 2024
Former President Donald Trump blamed the attack on President Joe Biden and asked for prayers for the families of those who were killed.
“This brazen attack on the United States is yet another horrific and tragic consequence of Joe Biden’s weakness and surrender,” the Republican presidential candidate said in a Sunday post on his Truth Social platform.
“Three years ago, Iran was weak, broke, and totally under control,” Trump said. “Thanks to my Maximum Pressure policy, the Iranian Regime could barely scrape two dollars together to fund their terrorist proxies.
“Then Joe Biden came in and gave Iran billions of dollars, which the Regime has used to spread bloodshed and carnage throughout the Middle East.”
Biden commented on the attack in his own statement on Sunday.
“The three American service members we lost were patriots in the highest sense,” the president said.
He added that those who were killed will “never be forgotten.”
“Together, we will keep the sacred obligation we bear to their families,” Biden said. “We will strive to be worthy of their honor and valor. We will carry on their commitment to fight terrorism.
“And have no doubt — we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.