Cameron condemns Iran-backed militias after US troops killed in Jordan

Cameron condemns Iran-backed militias after US troops killed in Jordan thumbnail

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron has condemned attacks on US troops (James Manning/PA)

PA Wire

Lord David Cameron has condemned the actions of Iranian-backed militias after three American troops were killed and dozens injured in north-east Jordan amid fears of a wider conflict with Tehran.

The UK Foreign Secretary renewed calls for Iran to de-escalate in the region following the first US deaths since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

President Joe Biden said on Sunday that the US “shall respond” to the overnight drone strike near the Syrian border.

US officials were working to identify the group behind the attack but have so far assessed that one of several Iranian-aligned groups was responsible.

Mr Biden said in a written statement that the US “will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner (of) our choosing”.

In a post on X later on Sunday, Lord Cameron said: “We strongly condemn attacks by Iran-aligned militia groups against US forces. We continue to urge Iran to de-escalate in the region.

“Our thoughts are with those US personnel who have lost their lives and all those who have sustained injuries, as well as their families.”

US forces have long used Jordan, a kingdom bordering Iraq, Israel, the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, Saudi Arabia and Syria, as a base.

US Central Command put the toll at three killed and 34 injured.

Since the war in Gaza began, Iranian-backed militias have struck American military installations in Iraq more than 60 times and in Syria more than 90 times with drones, rockets, mortars and ballistic missiles.

The attack on Sunday was the first targeting US troops in Jordan during the conflict and the first to result in American deaths.

The militias have said that their strikes are in retaliation for Washington’s support for Israel in the war in Gaza, and aim to push US forces out of the region.

The US in recent months has hit targets in Iraq, Syria and Yemen in response to attacks on its forces and to diminish the threats from Iranian-backed Houthi rebels to commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

The US and UK launched a second round of joint strikes against the rebels earlier this week, which appears to have done little to deter Houthi action.

A British-linked oil tanker went up in flames after an strike claimed by the Yemen-based group on Friday before a further attack on HMS Diamond, the British destroyer stationed in the Red Sea, was successfully repelled.

The Ministry of Defence earlier branded ongoing action by the Houthis as “intolerable and illegal” and said Britain and its allies “reserve the right to respond appropriately”.