On Thursday, President Joe Biden ordered missile strikes against alleged Iranian-backed militias in Northern Syria. The Department of Defense claims the bombing was in retaliation for attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq by allegedly Iran-backed rockets.
The Department of Defense announced Thursday night, “At President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria.”
“These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel,” the DoD statement added.
“This proportionate military response was conducted together with diplomatic measures, including consultation with Coalition partners,” the statement continued. “The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American and Coalition personnel.”
The statement further added, “At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq.”
The Biden administration claims they were attacking a border control point used by Hezbollah and another Iranian-backed group, Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada.
However, the New York Times reports that the group who claimed responsibility for an attack on the Erbil airport – one of the justifications used for the U.S. attack – is largely unknown and may not be backed by Iran, or have used the facilities that were targeted.
“The attack on the Erbil airport was claimed by a little-known group called Awliya al Dam, or Guardian of the Blood, brigades. The group also claimed responsibility for two bombings against U.S. contractor convoys in August.
Little is known about the group, including whether it is backed by Iran or related to the organizations that used the facilities the American airstrikes targeted on Thursday. “
Whatever one’s opinion on the wisdom of Biden’s order to launch airstrikes into Syria Thursday, when former President Donald Trump issued similar orders during his presidency, it did not sit well with Democrats.
Including high ranking officials in the Democratic Party – including the current Vice President of the United States.
After Trump ordered an airstrike on Syria in April 2018, then Senator Kamala Harris tweeted, “I strongly support our men and women in uniform and believe we must hold Assad accountable for his unconscionable use of chemical weapons.”
Then she added, “But I am deeply concerned about the legal rationale of last night’s strikes.”
Harris would add, “The president needs to lay out a comprehensive strategy in Syria in consultation with Congress — and he needs to do it now.”
It is worth noting that the Biden administration has not given a “legal rationale” for Thursday’s military action against Syria, neither has it consulted Congress.
Per the law and Harris’s point in 2018, the Constitution makes clear that declaring war is a power only of Congress.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also made this clear – when Trump was president.
“Also what is the legal authority for strikes?” Psaki tweeted in 2017 after a Trump-directed strike on Syria in 2017.
“Assad is a brutal dictator,” she added. “But Syria is a sovereign country.”
Psaki is correct – and Syria was still a sovereign country when her boss decided to take military action on Thursday.
Don’t expect the same question from Kamala Harris or Jen Psaki this time around.
Not to mention, “Deep State” government and military officials have long been slippery about alerting Congress and the president about how many U.S. troops are actually stationed in Syria.
Military journal Task & Purpose reported in November 2020, “America’s top envoy to the multinational military coalition to defeat ISIS claimed in a recent interview that he routinely lied to senior government officials about U.S. troops levels in Syria.”
“We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,’ outgoing diplomat Jim Jeffrey told Defense One reporter Katie Bo Williams in an interview,” the outlet reported.
This was under President Trump, who apparently was never told about the true troop levels.
Task & Purpose continued, “Jeffrey added that the real number of U.S. troops in Syria was ‘a lot more’ than the several hundred Trump planned on leaving behind following his abrupt withdrawal announcement in December 2018.”
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