The White House on Wednesday said that an umbrella group of militants called the Islamic Resistance in Iraq was behind a recent drone attack that killed three U.S. service members near the Jordan-Syria border.
“We believe that the attack in Jordan was planned, resourced and facilitated by an umbrella group called the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, which contains multiple groups including Kata’ib Hezbollah,” said National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
“This certainly has the earmarks of the kinds of things that Kata’ib Hezbollah does,” he said.
The Islamic Resistance contains several militias — many of which are believed to be backed by Iran. Kirby, however, did not mention Tehran’s involvement.
The Jordan drone strike is considered to be one of the most serious in a series of assaults that have targeted U.S. forces in the Middle East since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel.
Kirby told reporters that President Biden was weighing retaliatory options and that any action from the U.S. “won’t be a one-off.”
Kata’ib Hezbollah, the Iran-linked militia which the U.S. initially singled out as being behind the drone attack, said in a surprise announcement Tuesday that it was suspending its military operations in Iraq, following pressure from the Iraqi government and from Iran, The New York Times reported.
“We announce the suspension of military and security operations against the occupation forces — in order to prevent embarrassment to the Iraqi government,” the leader of Kata’ib Hezbollah, Abu Hussein al-Hamidawi, said in a statement.
The militant group had been responsible for attacking U.S. military outposts in Iraq and Syria since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.
Harakat al Nujaba and Sayyid Shuhada, two other militias also thought to have been involved in assaults on U.S. troops in the region, have not made any such announcements, the Times reported.