White House: Islamic Resistance in Iraq behind drone attack that killed 3 US troops

Soldiers killed in drone attack identified.

Intelligence officials believe an umbrella group called the Islamic Resistance in Iraq is responsible for a drone attack that killed three U.S. soldiers Sunday in Jordan.

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“We believe that the attack in Jordan was planned, resourced and facilitated by an umbrella group called the Islamic Resistance in Iraq which contains multiple groups, including (the Iran-backed militia group) Kataib Hezbollah,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday at a news conference.

Earlier, Kirby said that the attack on Sunday, which claimed the lives of three U.S. Army soldiers, had the “all the hallmarks” of the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and of Kataib Hezbollah.

“This certainly has the earmarks of the sort of thing Kataib Hezbollah does,” Kirby said Wednesday, although he stopped short of placing all blame on the group. “The attribution that that our intelligence community is comfortable with is that this was done by the umbrella group called the Islamic Resistance in Iraq.”

The Defense Department said a drone struck the logistics support base at Tower 22 of the Jordanian Defense Network in the early morning hours Sunday, killing three people and injuring more than 40 others. The Pentagon identified the slain soldiers as Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46, of Carrollton, Georgia; Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, of Waycross, Georgia; and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23, of Savannah, Georgia.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that President Joe Biden spoke Tuesday with the families of the fallen soldiers to share his condolences. He and first lady Jill Biden will be in Delaware on Friday for the dignified transfer of their remains at Dover Air Force Base.

On Tuesday, the president said that he has decided how to respond to the drone attack, but he did not elaborate.

“We’re going to respond, and we’re going to respond in an appropriate way,” Kirby said on Wednesday. He added, “We will respond in a time and a manner of our choosing and on our schedule. And just because you haven’t seen anything in the last 48 hours doesn’t mean you’re not going to see anything.”

Since Oct. 18, there have been 166 attacks on U.S. military installations, according to The Associated Press. Sunday’s attack was the first in Jordan, while 98 have been reported in Syria and 67 in Iraq.

The deaths Sunday marked the first of U.S. soldiers in the Middle East since the war between Israel and Hamas broke out in early October, the AP reported.