Watch CBS News

Pentagon releases names of 3 soldiers killed in drone attack in Jordan

The Pentagon announced the names of the three American service members who were killed in an unmanned aerial drone attack on a base in northeast Jordan on Sunday.

In a press release Monday, the Defense Department said Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46, of Carrollton, Georgia; Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, of Waycross, Georgia and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23, of Savannah, Georgia, died Jan. 28, 2024, in Jordan. The attack occurred when "a one-way unmanned aerial system (OWUAS) impacted their container housing units," the Pentagon said. 

Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett died Jan. 28, 2024, in Jordan. Defense Department

Spc. Moffett's mother, Francine Moffett, released a statement saying, "Breonna was a very smart, beautiful young woman. She love to laugh, she was out going, had many friends that she just adored. She was always smiling and just make you smile with her. She always knew that the military would be part of her life and she wore her uniform proudly. She loved her siblings so much. She loved telling people that she was a Windsor Forest marching knights Drum Major and loved the ROTC. Our hearts and soul has been broken. After her tour she wanted to come back and volunteer with the ROTC program and to be a mentor. She just love helping people."

Pentagon deputy press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters Monday that the attack seemed different from prior attacks because of where and when it took place — in living quarters and "pretty early morning." 

"People were actually in their beds when the drone impacted," she said.

Singh also blamed the drone attack on an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-backed militia. The U.S. has said the groups operate in Syria and Iraq. She said the attack had the "footprints" of Kataib Hezbollah, but said a final assessment has not yet been made, and she added that U.S. forces would respond "at a time and place of their choosing."

The department says the attack is under investigation.

Later Monday, a U.S. official said it appears the drone used in the attack was an Iranian drone, a "type of Shahed drone" — which is the type of one-way attack drone that Iran has been providing to Russia. 

How will the U.S. respond to deadly attack in Jordan? 02:16

The attack took place at an outpost known as Tower 22, where roughly 350 U.S. Army and Air Force personnel are deployed, according to the Department of Defense.

U.S. Central Command said Sunday night that at least 34 were injured, but on Monday, Singh said the number is now above 40. Eight of the wounded service members were evacuated — some were in critical condition but all were stable, a defense official told CBS News.

The killed and injured troops were in their sleeping quarters on the base when the drone strike took place in the pre-dawn hours.  

The strike was believed to be the deadliest attack on U.S. service members since 13 Americans were killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul as the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan in 2021. 

Kaia Hubbard, Stefan Becket, Margaret Brennan, David Martin, Nancy Cordes and Christina Ruffini contributed reporting.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.