S. reaction to the drone strike: “We do not seek to engage in a new conflict.”

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On January 29, 2024, a deadly drone attack on an American military outpost in the Middle East has raised concerns about the U.S. response. Three U.S. service members were killed and dozens more were injured in the attack, prompting a statement from President Biden and a response from a top Biden administration official.

John Kirby, a spokesperson for the National Security Council at the White House, emphasized that the U.S. is committed to defending itself, but also stressed the importance of avoiding a wider regional conflict. “We are not seeking another war, but we will do what is necessary to protect ourselves,” Kirby said in an interview on “CBS Mornings.”

The attack comes amidst escalating assaults on U.S. forces stationed in the Middle East, following the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. There are concerns about the involvement of Iran and its proxies in these attacks.

According to U.S. officials, the drone strike on Sunday was carried out by “radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq.” President Biden stated that the U.S. will hold those responsible accountable, but did not specify when or how.

The attack, which occurred at a U.S. military outpost called Tower 22, is believed to be the deadliest on U.S. service members since the 2021 suicide bombing in Kabul during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The troops who were killed and injured were likely in their barracks at the time of the attack.

Kirby stated that the U.S. is still gathering information about the attack, but believes it was carried out by a single drone. He also noted that the number of injuries could potentially rise if some experience concussive symptoms.

This is not the first attack believed to be linked to Iran-backed militant groups since the start of the Israel-Hamas conflict. The recent attacks on ships in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have also raised concerns.  

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