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Iran denies involvement in drone strike in Jordan that killed US troops, calls Biden's allegations 'baseless'

American forces in the Middle East have been attacked more than 150 times by Iran-backed forces in Iraq, Syria, Jordan and off the coast of Yemen since the Israel-Hamas war erupted in October.

Ajeet Kumar Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Tehran Updated on: January 29, 2024 14:01 IST
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi
Image Source : AP Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

Tehran: Hours after US President Joe Biden claimed Iran-backed militant group killed three American soldiers and injured over 30, with some in critical condition, Iran on Monday denied involvement in the attack in northeastern Jordan near Syria's border. Iranian foreign ministry claims the allegations "baseless" after President Biden vowed to take revenge amid mounting pressure from the Republican party. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said the continuation of US strikes on Syria and Iraq as well as the war in Gaza will only intensify a cycle of instability in the region.

Earlier on Sunday, Biden blamed Iran-backed groups for the unmanned aerial drone attack on US forces, the first deadly strike against American troops since the Israel-Hamas war erupted on October 7 and sent shock waves throughout the Middle East.

Kanaani said "resistance groups" do not take orders from the Islamic Republic. Earlier, Iran's Mission to the United States issued a statement affirming that "Iran had no connection and had nothing to do with the attack on the US base." It added: "There is a conflict between US forces and resistance groups in the region, which reciprocate retaliatory attacks." The attack is a major escalation of the already tense situation in the Middle East, where war broke out in Gaza after an attack by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Israel.

"What does attacking Iran get us": US official

A US defence official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said it was unclear what the second and third-order effects would be in going after Iran. "Unless the U.S. prepared for an all-out war, what does attacking Iran get us," the official said. Still, Lord and other experts acknowledge that Israel had hit Iranian targets in Syria for years, without dissuading Iran, including four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps officials in Damascus on Jan. 20.

The United States has also struck Iranian-linked targets outside of Iran in recent months. In November, the U.S. military said it struck a facility used not only by an Iran-backed group but also by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. But Lister said the U.S. had gone after Iranians outside of Iran in the past, like the 2020 strike against top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, and only yielded a response during a limited period of time. "So to an extent, if you go hard enough and high enough, we have a track record of showing that Iran can blink first," Lister said.

(With inputs from Reuters) 

Also Read: Biden vows 'revenge' as political pressure mounts after Iran-backed militias kill 3 American soldiers


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