Oil prices flat after Iran-linked drone strikes kill three U.S. troops, Biden vows retaliation

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A drone launch during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in Iran captured in a handout image obtained on Aug. 25, 2022.
Iranian Army | West Asia News Agency | via Reuters

Oil prices advanced early Monday after missiles launched by Iran-backed militants killed U.S. troops in Jordan on the weekend.

Global benchmark Brent traded 0.57% higher at $84.03 a barrel, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rose 0.6% to $78.48 per barrel.

According to the White House, three U.S. service members were killed and many injured in an unmanned aerial drone attack on forces stationed in a northeast Jordan outpost near the Syria border on Sunday. They were the first American fatalities from enemy attacks since Israel’s war with Hamas began on Oct. 7.

“While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement.

“Have no doubt — we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing,” he said.

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Oil prices in the past six months

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for the weekend drone attack on the Jordan-Syria border alongside attacks on two other bases, pledging support for the “steadfast Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.”

The attack marked an escalation in the Middle East, which saw tensions rise after Israel declared war on Palestinian militant group Hamas following an unprecedented terror attack on Oct. 7, which killed some 1,200 people in Israel. Since the start of the war, more than 26,000 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip.

It comes close on the heels of attacks by Yemen-based Houthi rebels on an oil tanker transiting the Red Sea on Friday. A petroleum products tanker vessel, operated on behalf of Trafigura, caught fire after it was struck by a missile in the Gulf of Aden.

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