Western and Arab allies were quick to support the United States after a drone attack that killed three American soldiers and injured more than 40 U.S. forces at a military outpost in Jordan on Jan. 28, 2024. They were also critical of Iran’s network of proxies and allies that have attacked U.S. forces in Iraq, Syria and Jordan and also threatened international shipping in the Red Sea, through which about 30 percent of world shipping passes. “Tehran’s behavior reminds us of what a world without rules look like – unpredictable and dangerous, a world where our security becomes more expensive,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a visit to Washington on January 30. He also “welcomed” U.S. efforts to “address” the escalating risks in the Middle East. The following is a rundown of statements by leaders in Europe and NATO, the Western military alliance.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
Remarks on January 30 in Washington: “We see Iran continue to destabilize the region. Iran also bears the responsibility for backing terrorists who attack ships in the Red Sea. Tehran’s behavior reminds us of what a world without rules look like – unpredictable and dangerous, a world where our security becomes more expensive…
“Iran is responsible for destabilizing the whole region, threatening stability and security in the Middle East. It is repressive at home and aggressive abroad. We have seen this through many different attacks and also the different proxy groups, terrorist groups that Iran supports. This underlines, of course, also the risk of escalation, and therefore I welcome the efforts by the United States to address these risks, and it is important that we also realize that Russia and Iran are now aligning more and more. Russia is more and more dependent on drones from Iran – they actually built a new factory in Russia based on Iranian drone technology – and in return Russia is providing advanced technology to Iran. So it demonstrates how authoritarian regimes are now coming closer and closer, and the only answer to that is that NATO Allies, all those countries that believe in democracy, have to stand together as we do in NATO.”
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
January 29: “We are concerned and would urge Iran to continue to de-escalate tensions in the region. We stand resolutely with our allies to bring stability and peace to the region and that's what we continue to work towards.”
British Foreign Secretary David Cameron
Remarks on January 30: “We cannot ignore the risk that the conflict in Gaza spreads, spilling over borders into other countries in the region. We will do everything we can to make sure that does not happen – escalation and instability is in nobody’s interests.”
French Foreign Ministry
28 January 28: “France strongly condemns the attack targeting U.S. troops fighting Daesh along the border between Syria and Jordan…France expresses its absolute solidarity with the United States, with whom it has been combatting Daesh in the region since 2014.
“By fueling the escalation of violence in a concerning way, these attacks threaten the stability of the entire region. Those responsible must be held accountable for their actions. Once again, we are issuing a warning to anyone who may be counting on tensions escalating in the region. France will continue to stand with the countries in the region in the fight against terrorism.”
German Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Sebastian Fischer
January 29: “In view of the extremely tense situation in the region, this act is completely irresponsible and could lead to pushing the region further toward escalation. We expect from Iran that it finally exerts its influence on its allies in the region so that there is no uncontrolled conflagration, in which no one can have an interest.”
Bahraini Foreign Ministry
January 28: “The Kingdom of Bahrain has condemned, in the strongest terms, the terrorist attack that took place near the Jordanian-Syrian borders, killing three and injuring several others from the US troops which are cooperating with the Jordanian Armed Forces in combating terrorism and cross-border smuggling of weapons and drugs.
“The Ministry reiterated the kingdom’s principled stance against terrorism in all its forms and extremist organisations. It also emphasized Bahrain’s commitment to backing international efforts aimed at eliminating the scourge of terrorism and eliminating its threats.”
Egyptian Foreign Ministry
January 29: “Egypt emphasizes the necessity of confronting all forms of terrorism and rejecting all manifestations of violence to ensure the stability of the region.”
U.A.E. Foreign Ministry
January 29: “The United Arab Emirates has strongly condemned the terrorist attack that targeted a US military base near the Jordanian-Syrian border, which resulted in a number of deaths and injuries…The UAE reaffirmed its strong condemnation of these criminal acts and its permanent rejection of all forms of violence and terrorism aimed at undermining security and stability in contravention of international law.
Iraqi Government Spokesperson Basim Alawadi
January 29: “The Iraqi government condemns the ongoing escalation, particularly the recent attack on the Syrian-Jordanian border, and is closely monitoring with great concern the alarming security developments in the region.”
Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz
January 29: ”We stand united in our values and battle against a common enemy. Their sacrifice will always be remembered.”
Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry
January 29: “Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns the terrorist attack on a U.S. military post near the Syrian-Jordanian borders that killed a few and injured some. The Ministry also affirms Kuwait’s denunciation of all kinds of terrorism, calling for cooperation to maintain peace regionally and globally.”
Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita
January 30: “The Kingdom of Morocco rejects and condemns all terrorist attacks, whatever their origin and instigator.”
Omani Foreign Ministry
January 30: “The Sultanate of Oman expressed its denunciation and regret of the recent drone attack on American personnel on the Jordanian-Syrian border, which resulted in the loss of a number of lives and the injury of a group of wounded, which at the same time represented a violation of the security and sovereignty of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and constituted a new and dangerous escalation of tension in the region, as a result of the continued brutal Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.”
Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry
January 29: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s condemnation and denunciation in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack on a military base on the Jordanian-Syrian border that resulted in the death of three American soldiers and the injury of 24 others. The Ministry renews the Kingdom’s steadfast support for intensified international efforts to eliminate terrorism and extremism in all forms and manifestations and dry up its sources of funding.”