Report: Drone That Killed 3 in Jordan Likely Was Undetected

Report: Drone That Killed 3 in Jordan Likely Was Undetected

The drone fired by Iranian-backed terrorists that killed three U.S. soldiers and injured dozens of others on Jan. 28 in Jordan likely went undetected by U.S. forces, and there was no air defense system at the remote outpost capable of shooting it down.

A military assessment determined the drone went undetected because of its low flight path, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing a U.S. defense official with direct knowledge of the assessment. The defense official said the base, known as Tower 22, was not outfitted with weapons that can take down aerial threats such as drones, and instead relied on electronic warfare systems designed to disable or disrupt their path to a target.

Another U.S. official affirmed to the Post the military’s belief the drone flew too low to be detected. Both officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive and ongoing investigation.

Defense officials have stressed that assessments can change as investigators learn more, but the assessment appears to contrast with preliminary findings that U.S. air defenses mistook the attacking aircraft for an American drone returning to the base at about the same time.

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which oversees military activity in the region, has declined to say whether officials believe the terrorists responsible had knowledge of the base’s defenses, the Post reported. CENTCOM’s investigation into the incident is ongoing.

“We’re still assessing exactly what happened in that attack,” Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said Tuesday during a briefing. “And, of course, CENTCOM and [Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin] will determine if there’s any change or needs to be any change to our defensive posture at Tower 22 or any other base in the region. But I just don’t have more for you on that specific attack.”

The Jan. 28 attack in Jordan killed three Army reservists from Georgia – Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46; Spc. Kennedy Sanders, 24; and Spc. Breonna Moffett, 23 – and injured 40 other U.S. service members. They were the first American deaths from hostile fire since Israel began its war in October against Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip that triggered repeated attacks on U.S. positions in Iraq, Syria, and the Red Sea by groups affiliated with Iran. There have been at least 168 such incidents since mid-October, the Post reported, citing Pentagon data.

Although Tower 22 was outfitted with multiple electronic warfare systems capable of taking drones offline, the Post reported it had limited means to protect itself. The defense official with direct knowledge of the military’s early assessment said the outpost was deemed a relatively low-threat environment.

“This was based on the vast majority of the threats with 99% of the [Iranian proxy] attacks being against facilities in Iraq and Syria,” the official told The Post.

The base’s defensive posture has changed in the attack’s aftermath, the official said, but declined to elaborate.

“We are not waiting for the investigation to be complete to implement changes from lessons learned in the tragic attack on Tower 22,” the official told The Post.

Michael Katz ✉

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

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