President Joe Biden joined family members at Dover AFB on February 2 for the dignified transfer of remains of three Army sergeants killed near the Jordan-Syria border. The same day, the AP reported, the U.S. military launched an air assault on dozens of sites in Iraq and Syria in retaliation for the drone attack that killed the three military members.
The fallen soldiers were Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46, of Carrollton, Georgia; Sgt. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, of Waycross, Georgia; and Sgt. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23, of Savannah, Georgia. Both Sanders and Moffett were posthumously promoted to sergeant.
Biden was accompanied by First Lady Jill Biden, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Air Force General Charles Q. Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Also, Georgia Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, as well as Rep. Buddy Carter, who represents the home district of Moffett and Sanders, and Delaware Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons attended.
The three Black American reservists from the 926th Engineer Brigade, based at Fort Moore, Georgia, lost their lives January 28 in a drone attack as they were sleeping on a U.S. base near the Jordan-Syria border.
The tragedy occurred at the logistics support base at Tower 22 of the Jordanian Defense Network, where approximately 350 U.S. Army and Air Force personnel are stationed. That base plays a crucial role in providing support for the coalition’s efforts against ISIS, according to Central Command.
The attack marks the third drone strike on the outpost in the past six months, with the first two occurring in the latter half of the previous year being unsuccessful. Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels, chief of the Army Reserve and commanding general of the U.S. Army Reserve Command, said the murders of the three Black reservists cut deeply.
In her last conversation with her mother, Sgt. Sanders reportedly expressed aspirations to elevate her military career upon returning home from the Middle East. She also revealed her intention to purchase a motorcycle. Sanders was actively involved in coaching soccer and basketball in her hometown of Waycross, Georgia, and worked at a pharmacy. She was pursuing college courses to become an X-ray technician.
Sanders’ parents shared that she volunteered for deployment to experience different parts of the world. With a history of military service in the family, Sanders had previously deployed to Djibouti and later volunteered for Kuwait, including a stint in Jordan near the Syrian border.
Rivers enlisted in the Army Reserve in 2011 as an interior electrician, according to the U.S. Army Reserve Command Public Affairs Office.
The U.S. government has determined that Iran was responsible for the attack, prompting President Joe Biden to vow a response. “There will be a response,” Biden declared.
The U.S. military launched an air assault on dozens of sites in Iraq and Syria used by Iranian-backed militias and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on Friday.
In the opening massive barrage of strikes, more than 85 targets at seven locations were hit. President Joe Biden made it clear in a statement that there will be more to come.
This article is an update to an earlier article by Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent, and includes information from the Associated Press.