US says Islamic Resistance in Iraq group carried out attack on base in Jordan

The United States on Wednesday attributed the drone attack that killed three U.S. service members in Jordan to the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of Iran-backed militias, as President Joe Biden weighs his response options to the strike.

The attribution comes as Iran threatened on Wednesday to “decisively respond” to any U.S. attack on the Islamic Republic after the U.S. said it holds Tehran responsible. The U.S. has signaled it is preparing for retaliatory strikes in the Mideast in the wake of the Sunday drone attack that also wounded at least 40 troops at Tower 22, a secretive base in northeastern Jordan that’s been crucial to the American presence in neighboring Syria.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday the U.S. believes the attack was planned, resourced and facilitated by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group that includes the militant group Kataib Hezbollah. He said Biden “believes that it is important to respond in an appropriate way.”

Kirby said Biden was continuing to weigh retaliation options to the attack but said “the first thing you see won’t be the last thing,” adding it “won’t be a one-off.”

Biden, meanwhile, is set to attend the somber return of the fallen troops to U.S. soil on Friday at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, known as a dignified transfer, the White House announced.

“Such messages have not been exchanged,” Iravani said.

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