A preliminary report on the drone attack in Jordan that killed three U.S. troops indicates that U.S. forces may have mistaken the enemy drone for an American one. The incident occurred at a desert base in Jordan, where the enemy drone entered unchallenged. As the enemy drone approached at a low altitude, a U.S. drone was returning to the installation, known as Tower 22. Due to this coincidence, there was no attempt to shoot down the enemy drone.
The strike hit one of the trailers where troops slept, resulting in casualties. The base, although lacking large air defense systems, possesses counter-drone systems like Coyote drone interceptors. Over 40 troops were wounded, with eight being medically evacuated.
The Biden administration blames Iran for the attack and is considering retaliatory action. President Biden, seeking a balanced response, emphasizes that the U.S. is not looking for war with Iran. The attack adds complexity to an already tense situation in the Middle East, where efforts are being made to prevent the Israel-Hamas conflict from escalating further.
The Pentagon identified the soldiers killed in the attack and is assessing whether the failure to shoot down the enemy drone was “human error.” The incident marks the first time U.S. service members have been killed in one of the dozens of drone attacks on U.S. troops in the region since the start of the Gaza conflict.