By: Micaela Burrow, Daily Caller News Foundation
The Biden Administration confirmed that the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella organization consisting of multiple Iran-backed militant groups, is the group that conducted an attack in Jordan that killed 3 U.S. soldiers and injured at least 40 troops.
The White House has signaled plans for a multi-tiered response to the deadly drone attack on Jordan’s Tower 22, according to The Associated Press. On Monday, the Pentagon said the attack bore the “fingerprints” of Kataib Hezbollah, one of two major groups behind the attacks and a member of the Islamic Resistance, but that U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) was still assessing the incident.
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby on Wednesday confirmed that the Islamic Resistance planned, facilitated and supplied the equipment for Sunday’s deadly attack, according to the AP.
Biden “believes that it is important to respond in an appropriate way,” he said. While the president continues to weigh options, “the first thing you see won’t be the last thing,” Kirby added.
The Islamic Resistance in a statement claimed initial responsibility for the attack, according to The New York Times. Since the uptick in attempted strikes on bases hosting U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria began on Oct. 17, this was the first strike that resulted in fatalities among U.S. troops.
On Tuesday, as rumblings of a sweeping U.S. response grew, Kataib Hezbollah said it would suspend military and security activities aimed at U.S. troops, Reuters reported.
The administration quickly dismissed the claim.
“Actions speak louder than words,” Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said Tuesday.
“They’re not the only group that has been attacking us,” Kirby said Wednesday.
The administration has said it holds Iran accountable for the attacks on U.S. troops, although Iran has denied any association with the attack. However, Tehran funds the groups and provides them with weapons and training. Officials insist the U.S. does not want a war with Iran but will take the necessary steps to protect U.S. forces.
Tehran on Wednesday threatened to “decisively respond” to any attack that might take place on Iranian soil, the AP reported.
Kataib Hezbollah is one of two primary Iran-backed militant organizations responsible for more than 160 attacks on bases housing U.S. troops since Oct. 17, the Pentagon has said. In October, the powerful militant group had threatened to attack U.S. military bases with missiles, special forces and drones if the U.S. intervened militarily in support of Israel, Reuters reported.
“These evil people must leave the country, otherwise they will taste the fire of hell in this world before the afterlife,” the group said in an October statement, according to Reuters.