CrisisWatch Jordan

Deteriorated Situation

Iran-backed Iraqi umbrella group conducted first deadly strike on U.S. forces in region since Gaza war; Jordan’s military continued airstrikes in Syria aimed at combatting smuggling.

Iran-backed militants killed three U.S. troops at base in north east. In significant escalation, Tehran-aligned Iraqi umbrella group Islamic Resistance in Iraq – likely operating in Syria – 28 Jan launched drone strike on U.S. base in Jordan’s north east, known as Tower 22, killing three U.S service members and wounding at least 34; U.S. President Biden vowed retaliation, saying “we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner of our choosing”. Since Gaza war, militants have launched over 160 attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria, although causing no fatalities until 28 Jan.

Jordan-Syrian border remained wracked by instability. After deadly clashes erupted between Jordanian security forces and militants/drug smugglers from Syria in Dec, Jordanian jets 4 Jan launched airstrike in Syria’s Suwayda province and 9 Jan launched four airstrikes in same area; security forces 7 Jan killed five drug traffickers in gun battle on Jordanian-Syrian border. Jordan 18 Jan reportedly struck two houses in Syria’s Arman town in Suwayda, reportedly killing nine people, including children. Amman blames Iran-backed militant groups in govt-controlled areas of Syria for surge of cross-border smuggling activity.

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