Biden promises US 'shall respond' after Iran-backed militants kill US troops

President Joe Biden has vowed to respond to the death of three American troops who were killed in an overnight drone strike in northeast Jordan. 

While traveling in South Carolina, appearing at a Baptist church banquet hall, the president asked for a moment of silence for the soldiers. 

"We had a tough day last night in the Middle East. We lost three brave souls in an attack on one of our bases," he said. After the moment of silence, Biden added, "and we shall respond."

The recent death of U.S. soldiers is part of a greater conflict that continues to increase in the region ever since the war in Gaza began in Oct. 7. 

Following Israel's invasion of Gaza in an attempt to eliminate Hamas terrorists in the region, Iranian-backed militias have excited their attacks on American military installations, according to reports from the Associated Press. 

The militias have said their attacks are in retaliation for the U.S. supporting Israel in the ongoing war in Gaza. 

Per the DOD, there have been 165 attacks in Iraq, Syria, and now Jordan since Oct. 17. Of these, 66 were in Iraq, 98 were in Syria, and one was in Jordan. 

The Pentagon says more than 40 people were injured in the weekend attacks on a small desert installation known as Tower 22 in Jordan. At least eight were medically evacuated and the most seriously hurt service is in critical but stable condition.  

Who exactly attacked American soldiers?

Officials have only confirmed that "Iran-backed militants" who came from Syria are responsible for the attack. It is still being determined which specific militia group was responsible. 

Iran on Sunday denied any involvement in the attack according to state news agency IRNA. 

Biden said in a written statement that the United States "will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner (of) our choosing." Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said "we will take all necessary actions to defend the United States, our troops, and our interests."

The Associated Press contributed to this story. It was reported from Los Angeles.