US President Joe Biden vowed to hold “to account” those responsible for a drone attack on a US outpost in Jordan, which killed three US Army soldiers and injured at least 34, marking the first time US troops have been killed by enemy fire in the Middle East since the beginning of the Gaza war.
US Central Command confirmed the deaths and said eight personnel had to be medically evacuated from Jordan. The number of wounded is expected to rise.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group for several Iran-backed militias in the country, said it attacked a number of places along the Jordan-Syria border on Sunday — including a camp near the US base in Jordan where soldiers were killed.
US officials have said the drone that killed the US service members at Tower 22 was launched by Iran-backed militants and appeared to come from Syria. The US government has not yet named a specific militia they hold responsible.
Iran denied it played any role in the attack.
Here are the other headlines from the region:
- Fears of a wider war: The attack comes after weeks of the US focusing on deterrence in the region, where it has been trying to prevent the war in Gaza from spilling into a broader regional conflict. On Sunday, the Israeli military struck more Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon, it said, and the Iran-backed paramilitary group returned fire.
- Aid suspended: The main UN agency in Gaza is urging countries to reconsider cutting off funding over allegations staff members were involved in Hamas’ October 7 attacks on Israel. Japan is the latest in a growing number of countries, including the US, Germany and Canada, to suspend funding to UNRWA, which employs around 13,000 people in Gaza, as the humanitarian disaster spirals in the besieged Palestinian enclave.
- IDF intelligence: The head of Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate met with senior US officials on Friday to share intelligence on UNRWA staff members who allegedly took part in the Hamas attacks, an Israeli official told CNN. Details of the allegations have been scant. But the official said “solid intelligence from different sources” was shared, including “specific names and which organizations they are affiliated with … and what exactly they did on October 7.”
- Fighting in Gaza: Heavy fighting around the Nasser and Al-Amal hospitals in the southern city of Khan Younis continued on Sunday as medical supplies dwindle. The IDF said Hamas fighters are positioned around the medical centers, and it is coordinating with hospital officials to help keep them operating and to allow civilians to evacuate. Palestinian medical workers have disputed those claims in recent days, describing the situation as a siege.
- Hostage talks: A meeting to secure a hostage deal and a pause in fighting in Gaza was “defined as constructive,” but “significant gaps” remain, the Israeli prime minister’s office said. The meeting took place in Paris on Sunday and involved officials from Qatar, Israel, the US and Egypt. The parties will hold more meetings this week, Israel said.
- Protesters block aid: Israeli protesters blocked aid trucks from entering Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing Sunday, demanding that hostages held in Gaza are freed before any more aid is delivered to the strip. The protests have been ongoing for days and were organized by families of Israeli hostages held in Gaza.