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Drone injures 3 US troops, Biden orders strike on Iran-aligned group

The Iranian-backed militia Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups, under an umbrella of Iranian-backed militants, claimed credit for the attack.

President Joe Biden.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File
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President Joe Biden has ordered retaliatory strikes against Iranian-backed militia groups after three U.S. service members were injured in a drone attack in Northern Iraq.

National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said one of the U.S. troops suffered critical injuries in the attack that occurred earlier on Monday. 

The Iranian-backed militia Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups, under an umbrella of Iranian-backed militants, claimed credit for the attack.

Biden, who is spending Christmas at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, was briefed on the attack on Monday and ordered the Pentagon to prepare response options.

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's national security team quickly drew up plans and presented him with options in a call. President Biden directed strikes against three locations utilized by Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups.

The latest attack on U.S. troops follows months of escalating threats and actions against American forces in the region since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel that sparked the devastating war in Gaza. 

The U.S. has blamed Iran, which has funded and trained Hamas, for the rising violence by its network of proxy groups across the region, including attacks by Yemen’s Houthis against commercial and military vessels thorough a critical shipping choke point in the Red Sea.