DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Delaware: With US President Joe Biden bearing witness, the remains of three American soldiers killed in Jordan in an attack by an Iranian-made drone arrived in the United States on Friday (Feb 2).
The three Army Reserve soldiers killed on Sunday were Sergeant William Jerome Rivers, 46, of Carrollton, Georgia; Specialist Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, of Waycross, Georgia, and Specialist Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23, of Savannah, Georgia.
Biden joined families of those killed at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, for what the US Air Force calls a “dignified transfer” of remains.
After meeting with family
The parents of Specialist Sanders, 23, shared a video of Biden’s previous call with local media outlets. “I know there is nothing anybody can say or do to ease the pain, I’ve been there,” Biden said, recounting the deaths of his first wife, infant daughter and grown son, Beau.
The drone attack by Iran-backed militants against the American outpost in Jordan, known as Tower 22, also injured more than 40. It raised fears of a larger war in the Middle East, where the Israel-Hamas conflict threatens to boil over.
Biden said on Tuesday he had made up his mind on how to respond to the Jordan attack.
On Friday, the US military launched retaliatory air strikes against Iranian forces and Tehran-backed militia groups in both Iraq and Syria.
“Our response began today. It will continue at times and places of our choosing,” Biden said in a statement.
members privately, the president placed a hand over his heart as the flag-draped transfer cases were brought out of the plane one by one. He previously offered his condolences to the families in a phone call on Tuesday.
Biden, wearing a long dark coat and a sombre expression, approached and bowed his head as a prayer was said for the fallen.
Working with solemn precision, a team of seven service members carried the cases from the open bay of the plane to a dark mortuary van, as the families and the presidential entourage watched.
First lady Jill Biden joined the president along with Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Air Force General Charles Q Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“The United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. But let all those who might seek to do us harm know this: If you harm an American, we will respond.