White House Vows to “Respond Appropriately” to the Deadly Drone Attack

By: Alyssa Miller | Published: Jan 29, 2024

Three U.S. service members tragically lost their lives and 34 were injured in a drone attack on Sunday in Jordan. Officials believe Iranian-backed militants carried out the assault, further fueling the already escalating tensions ignited by the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

Outraged by the loss of American lives, the public demands action, prompting the White House to search for solutions and presidential candidates to step forward with their plans.

The White House Does “Not Seek Another War” 

According to the U.S. News & World Report, the White House is trying to walk “a fine rhetorical line between pledging retaliation and preventing escalation of already heightened tensions.”

Charlottesville Candlelight Vigil at the White House, Washington, DC USA

Source: Ted Eytan

“We do not seek another war,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby said during a press briefing. “We do not seek to escalate, but we will absolutely do what is required to protect ourselves to continue that mission and to respond appropriately to these attacks.”

The First American Deaths in the Gaza Conflict 

The Biden administration is blaming the Iran-backed militias for the attack on Sunday. However, Iran has denied their involvement. Reports suggested that the enemy drone was possibly confused with a U.S. drone.

hese were taken in some of the worst hit areas during the war in 2009

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Mistaking it for a non-threatening aircraft, no one challenged the drone, permitting it to remain airborne. Meanwhile, U.S. officials confirmed to CNN that this incident marks the first time American troops have fallen to enemy fire during the ongoing Gaza conflict.

President Joe Biden Speaks On the Attack

President Joe Biden vowed on Sunday that he will hold those responsible for the attack “to account.” More information is needed before Biden will comment on the situation or take any steps.

US President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd during the South Carolina Democratic Party First in the Nation Celebration and dinner at the state fairgrounds on January 27, 2024 in Columbia, South Carolina. South Carolina holds its Democratic party primary on February 3.

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“We know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” Biden said (via CNN).

Biden Wants to Hold Those Responsible for Their Actions

In an official statement from the White House, Biden wrote: “These service members embodied the very best of our nation: Unwavering in their bravery. Unflinching in their duty. Unbending in their commitment to our country—risking their own safety for the safety of their fellow Americans, and our allies and partners with whom we stand in the fight against terrorism.”

President Joe Biden standing next to the U.S. flag

Source: NASA HQ PHOTO/Flickr

Biden continues: “[H]ave no doubt—we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing.”

Donald Trump Speaks on the Attack

On Truth Social, former President Donald Trump weighed in on the “brazen” drone attack in Jordan.

President Donald J. Trump disembarks Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House Wednesday evening, Aug. 21, 2019, returning from his trip to the American Veterans (AMVETS) 75th National Convention in Louisville, KY.

Source: Tia Dufour

“The drone attack on a U.S. Military Installation in Jordan, killing 3 American service members, and wounding many more, marks a horrible day for America … This brazen attack on the United States is yet another horrific and tragic consequence of Joe Biden’s weakness and surrender,” Trump wrote.


Trump Blames Biden for the Attack

Trump continues to attack Biden’s actions, writing, “Three years ago, Iran was weak, broke, and totally under control. Thanks to my Maximum Pressure policy, the Iranian Regime could barely scrape two dollars together to fund their terrorist proxies.”

Donald Trump speaking on a stage with a blue background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

In another post on Truth Social, Trump stated, “This attack would NEVER have happened if I was President, not even a chance. … the War in Ukraine would never have happened, and we would right now have Peace throughout the World. Instead, we are on the brink of World War 3…..”


Trump’s National Security Adviser Suggests Sending Air Strikes

John Bolton, who was Trump’s national security adviser, echoes Trump’s statements and suggests that the Biden administration could send a strong message to Tehran with strikes on Iranian vessels in the Red Sea. For years, those bases have trained and supplied militant groups.

John Bolton speaking on a stage with a blue background

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However, this seems like a reaction that the Biden administration seems weary to take as it could further America’s involvement in the conflict.


Nikki Haley Speaks On the Attack

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Nikki Haley also weighed in on the conversation. “What they should be doing is going after every ounce of production of those missiles,” Haley says (via Reuters).

Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley takes a question from an audience member during a town hall at Rochester American Legion Post #7 on October 12, 2023 in Rochester, New Hampshire. Haley is holding several campaign events in New Hampshire ahead of her filing the New Hampshire Primary Ballot and appearing with other Republican presidential candidates at the New Hampshire Republican Party’s First in the Nation Summit.

Source: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Haley continues: “Wherever those missile sites are, you take that out. You take out the training sites… You go after the leaders making the decisions. It’s not after Iran the country.”


“There’s No Easy Answers” for America 

Faced with a difficult balancing act, Biden is meeting with national security advisers in the White House Situation Room to discuss the latest developments and potential actions that would not cause any further escalation in the Gaza conflict.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby talking on a stage with a blue background

Source: Public Domain Dedication/Picryl

“There’s no easy answer here,” said National Security Council spokesman John Kirby (via Associated Press). “And that’s why the president is meeting with his national security team weighing the options before him.”


Will the U.S. Get More Involved in the War? 

Two months of attacks from Iranian proxies on U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan and on U.S. Navy and commercial vessels in the Red Sea have been wearing American patience thin, according to Kirby.

U.S. Army Soldier standing next to a flag

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“We are not looking for a war with Iran,” Kirby told reporters (via AP). “That said, this was a very serious attack. It had lethal consequences. We will respond, and we respond appropriately.”


Where Does the U.S. Go from Here? 

Republicans have been blaming Biden for doing too little to discourage Iranian militias, which have carried out approximately 165 attacks on U.S. troops in the region since the beginning of the war.

US Army soldiers attending the Special Forces Qualification Course

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This attack came as U.S. officials were in talks that they believed would lay the groundwork for a durable resolution to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.