The explosion of a drone recorded on Sunday, January 28, at the US base located in the north of Jordan is considered the worst blow suffered by US forces in the Middle East since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas. Washington has claimed that behind the attack that left three soldiers dead and at least 40 wounded is the Islamic Resistance in Iraq (IRI), an Iran-backed group that has claimed responsibility for more than one hundred and a half attacks against US military bases in Iraq and Syria.
According to National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, IRI planned, financed, and facilitated the attack, but the United States considers Iran responsible for it. In addition, he assured that President Joe Biden is considering various options for retaliation, adding that “this is not an explosion.”
Tehran, for its part, responded to the accusations through its permanent representative to the UN, who assured that Iran “has no link or any involvement in the attack on the US base.” However, the Islamic government later threatened to “respond decisively” to any attack against it.
As of October 30, IRI has claimed responsibility for another 20 attacks on US bases in Iraq and Syria, according to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. So far, the number of attacks has exceeded 150, according to the Pentagon.
Later, on November 2, the IRI announced that it had also attacked Israeli bases, although the Jewish forces did not confirm that any of them had been recorded.
According to the Meir Amit Center, the IRI is an umbrella organization under which several pro-Iranian militias led by the Quds Force, the powerful elite paramilitary arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, gather.
It is believed that the IRI emerged as part of the Popular Mobilization Forces, a coalition that united the militias that emerged after the US invasion of Iraq and that was created to face the Islamic State, but after the fall of the jihadist group continued to operate with support from Iran.
According to the Washington Institute, the IRI does not have any distinctive flag or logo and represents the culmination of the “front strategy” used by Iran to avoid responsibility for its attacks against the United States.
Organizations specializing in monitoring and studying terrorist groups have not been able, until now, to identify the leader or the committee in charge of IRI. However, it was learned that groups such as Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, Al-Warithuun, Kataib Hezbollah, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada declared themselves part of the IRI.
The United States considers all of these organizations to be terrorist groups.
Biden, who this Friday, the 2nd, will receive the remains of the soldiers killed in Jordan during a ceremony at the White House, assured that “those responsible will be held accountable, when and how we deem appropriate.”
This has raised fears, once again, that the region will descend into total war. Adding to this new moment of tension are attacks by Iran in Iraq, Pakistan, and Syria, in addition to US air operations against the Houthi rebels in Yemen for their attacks against the delivery of the Red Sea.