Drone Attack Kills 3 U.S. Soldiers: Forces Missed Iranian-Made Drone’s Approach

AMMAN, Jordan – U.S. forces may not have detected the approach of an Iranian-made drone that killed three American soldiers in a remote base in Jordan last week, according to the military’s initial assessment of the attack.

The preliminary findings indicate that the drone may have gone undetected due to its low flight path and the lack of an air defense system capable of shooting it down at the base, known as Tower 22. The base was not equipped with weapons to counter aerial threats and relied on electronic warfare systems.

Drone operators often fly low to minimize or evade radar detection, which may have contributed to the drone’s ability to avoid detection. These findings raise questions about the Pentagon’s ability to address the threats facing U.S. personnel deployed across the Middle East.

U.S. Central Command declined to comment on whether the militants responsible had knowledge of the base’s limited defenses, and emphasized their commitment to safeguarding personnel deployed in the region.

Tower 22, situated at the nexus of Jordan’s shared border with Syria and Iraq, serves as a support site for the isolated Tanf garrison in Syria. U.S. forces from Tanf are working to disrupt Iran’s efforts to supply weapons and materiel to partners and proxies in Syria and beyond.

In response to the deadly attack at Tower 22, U.S. warplanes struck over 85 targets in Iraq and Syria associated with the Quds Force, a unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and local militias it supports.

The attack has led to a reevaluation of the base’s defensive posture, prompting the need for better drone detection systems and a wider range of passive measures to combat drones. There are ongoing discussions about the idea of physically blocking drones, should they manage to evade missile defenses, to enhance protection of vulnerable sites and safeguard soldiers.

The article continues to emphasize the vulnerability in the aerial domain and the need for more deliberate consideration of passive measures to protect U.S. outposts and personnel in the face of evolving threats. There is also a mention of the proliferation of Iranian drones in the region, pointing to the need for the military to address the emerging vulnerabilities from the aerial domain more deliberately.

Overall, the article emphasizes the need for a reexamination of defenses and the implementation of changes to address the vulnerability exposed by the attack.