The US base hit in a deadly drone attack last Sunday, situated in the north-west corner of Jordan, is just one among over a dozen where US military personnel operate across Iraq, Jordan, and Syria. Here’s a brief summary of the US bases in the Middle East and the reasons behind their presence.
Iraq: Approximately 2,500 US troops are stationed in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government. This deployment is part of a US-led coalition aimed at preventing the resurgence of the jihadist Islamic State group, which still maintains a presence in the country following its defeat in 2017.
Syria: There are around 900 US personnel in Syria, officially present to support their anti-IS ally, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, in Syria’s semi-autonomous north-east region. However, the Syrian government opposes the US presence, considering it an occupation.
Jordan: The US has approximately 3,000 troops based in Jordan, a key ally. Additionally, there are numerous other bases, including three major air bases in the Gulf and a port in Bahrain.
Attacks on US bases are not uncommon, prompting regular retaliatory strikes by the US.