Daily Review: U.S. Troops Killed by Iran-Backed Militia

Daily Review: U.S. Troops Killed by Iran-Backed Militia
U.S. Army soldiers conduct a mortar exercise at a small coalition outpost in western Iraq near the border with Syria, Jan. 24, 2018 (AP photo by Susannah George).

Three U.S. soldiers were killed and at least 34 others injured by a drone strike in northeast Jordan near the border with Syria yesterday. The Biden administration blamed an Iran-backed militia—although they have yet to conclude which one—for the U.S. fatalities. The attack follows months of tit-for-tat exchanges of fire between the U.S. and militias based in Iraq and Syria since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. (New York Times)

Our Take

The death of U.S. service members has been a dreaded but, frankly, almost inevitable development in the recent flare-up of hostilities between U.S. troops and Iran-backed militias in the region. Though the most recent exchanges of fire began with the war in Gaza, the Iran-backed militias in Iraq, especially, have a long history of antagonism toward U.S. forces, for some of them dating back to the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

Now, with that antagonism at a peak, the biggest concern is that this strike will be the spark that sets off a powder keg, escalating what has been a low-level proxy conflict into direct confrontation with Iran.

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