GOP lawmaker decries attack on US troops

A high-ranking House Republican condemned the attack on three U.S. aircraft in South Sudan on Saturday. 

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) decried the attack that injured four U.S. servicemen on an evacuation mission in a dangerous area of the country. 

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"The United States has been a strong supporter of South Sudan and we will not tolerate violence against our soldiers who are evacuating American diplomats and aid workers," McCaul, a co-chairman of the South Sudan and Sudan Caucus said in a statement. 

He noted the escalating violence that started nearly one week ago in the wake of a failed coup attempt in the South Sudan capital of Juba. Earlier this week, President Obama dispatched additional security to protect the country's U.S. Embassy.

"The violence and killings that have spread across Juba over the past week, as well as the internal displacement caused by the unrest, is cause for great concern. The world expects South Sudan's leaders to resolve that country's conflicts peacefully," McCaul said.

The United States Africa Command said three aircraft were attacked by small-arms fire while approaching the town of Bor. The damaged aircraft diverted to Entebbe, Uganda, where the wounded were transferred to a U.S. Air Force C-17 plane and flown to Nairobi, Kenya for medical treatment. The four were treated and in stable condition, the military said Saturday.

Officials in the South Sudan government denied involvement with the attack on U.S. aircraft, according to the Associated Press.

On Thursday, U.S. House co-chairs of the Sudan and South Sudan Caucus, called on “all leaders” in South Sudan to stop the “tragic violence in Juba and elsewhere in the country.”

“We are deeply concerned about the violence and killings that have spread across Juba over the past few days, as well as the internal displacement caused by the unrest," the statement said.

"We urge all who have resorted to force to rededicate themselves to the democratic ideals which South Sudan has long strived toward.” 

This story was posted at 9:30 a.m. and updated at 2:55 p.m.