Islamic State claims attack on Jordan military
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed seven Jordanian soldiers on the border with Syria on Sunday.
The militant’s news agency Amaq declared the attack on "the Jordanian-American base at Rukban in Jordan was carried out by an Islamic State fighter".
Tuesday's blast, which also left 13 soldiers wounded, struck near an area of no man's land where thousands of Syrian refugees are stranded and where the frontiers of Iraq, Syria and Jordan meet.
The suicide bomber allegedly left the makeshift Syrian refugee camp near the Rukban crossing in Jordan's remote northeast and headed towards the site of the blast, according to the Jordanian army.
The bomber entered Jordanian territory through an opening used for humanitarian aid deliveries and detonated his device as he neared a military post.
|Tuesday's blast, which also left 13 soldiers wounded, struck near an area of no man's land where thousands of Syrian refugees are stranded and where the frontiers of Iraq, Syria and Jordan meet.|
Thousands of Syrian refugees have fled the conflict and set up base in Jordan.
Jordanian King Abdullah strongly condemned the attack and said that Jordanian armed forces would strike back "with an iron fist".
"Jordan will respond with an iron fist against anyone who tries to tamper with its security and borders," said the king on Wednesday.
"Such criminal acts will only increase our determination to confront terrorism and terror gangs that target army personnel who protect the security of the country and its borders."
The military responded by declaring Jordan's desert regions that stretch northeast to Syria and east to Iraq as "closed military zones".
Jordan is a member of the US-led coalition against IS, and has carried out frequent airstrikes targeting the militants while hosting coalition troops.
Maaz al-Kassasbeh, a Jordanian fighter pilot, was captured by the group when his plane went down in Syria in December 2014. He was later burned alive in a cage.
In March, Jordan announced it had foiled an IS plot to carry out attacks in the kingdom in an operation that led to the deaths of seven militants.
The US embassy in Amman denounced Tuesday's bombing and pledged "unwavering support" for the armed forces of its key ally.
"We join the Jordanian people in their resilience and determination in the face of this cowardly terrorist act. The United States stands together with Jordan," said a US spokesperson.