War spreads across Middle East as U.S. vows response to base attack
Satellite photo showing a military base known as Tower 22 in northeastern Jordan, October 12, 2023 | Planet Labs PBC via AP

The United States vowed today that there would a “very consequential response” to an attack on a military base in Jordan that killed three U.S. soldiers, as war continued to spread across the Middle East.

An umbrella group of militias calling itself the Islamic Resistance in Iraq said it was responsible for the drone attack on the site known as Tower 22.

The group emerged after Israel’s bombardment in Gaza began.

Iran has denied being behind the attack, calling the accusations “baseless” and saying that it was “not involved in the decision-making of resistance groups.”

The U.S. retaliated by carrying out a massive air strike on a militia base on the Iraq-Syria border, killing 25 fighters.

President Joe Biden said the U.S. response against all involved in the Tower 22 attack would “come at a time and place of its choosing.”

He has faced pressure from opposition politicians demanding military action against Iran.

But Democratic House of Representatives member Barbara Lee voiced concern that Mr. Biden’s strategy of seeking to contain the conflict withing Gaza’s borders was failing.

“As we see now, it is spiraling out of control,” she said, renewing calls for a ceasefire in the Palestinian enclave.

“It’s beginning to emerge as a regional war and, unfortunately, the United States and our troops are in harm’s way.”

Since the start of the Israeli war on Gaza, U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria have been attacked around 150 times, according to US officials.

Violence elsewhere in the region is continuing, with an Israeli air strike on a Damascus suburb killing and wounding several people today, the Syrian military said in a statement carried by state media.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the attack had hit a farm housing members of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group and other Iran-backed factions.

It said the strike had killed seven people, including four Syrians, one of whom was the bodyguard of a member of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s Houthi movement said it had attacked a US navy mobile base at sea, but the claim was immediately rejected by a U.S. defense official.

Houthi attacks will continue “until the aggression is stopped and the siege is lifted on the people of Palestine in the Gaza Strip,” military spokesman Yahya Saree said in a statement.

In Gaza, the Health Ministry said that at least 174 Palestinians had been killed in the past day, two-thirds them women and children.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Saturday night that the war would continue until “complete victory” was achieved, including the crushing of Hamas.

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Ceren Sagir
Ceren Sagir

Ceren Sagir is a reporter and deputy news editor for Morning Star, the English-language socialist daily newspaper from Britain, and the UK representative for Halk TV, a Turkish nationwide TV channel.