Biden Claims Syria Strikes Were 'to Protect US Citizens,' Offers No Evidence
Biden responds to backlash from congressional Democrats
Joe Biden justified the recent airstrikes on Syria in response to backlash from congressional Democrats.
Biden responded to criticism from Democrats who demanded legal justification.
In a letter to lawmakers, Biden wrote:
“At my direction, on February 25, 2021, United States forces conducted a targeted military strike against infrastructure in eastern Syria used by Iran-supported non-state militia groups.”
“Those non-state militia groups were involved in recent attacks against United States and Coalition personnel in Iraq, including the February 15, 2021, attack in Erbil, Iraq.
"These groups are also engaged in ongoing planning for future such attacks.”
“The United States always stands ready to take necessary and proportionate action in self-defense, including when, as is the case here, the government of the state where the threat is located is unwilling or unable to prevent the use of its territory by non-state militia groups responsible for such attacks," Biden added.
“I directed this military action consistent with my responsibility to protect United States citizens both at home and abroad and in furtherance of United States national security and foreign policy interests.”
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“The United States took this action pursuant to the United States’ inherent right of self-defense as reflected in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.”
Last month, American missile strikes successfully hit Iran-backed militias in Northern Syria.
The Pentagon ordered the strikes as retaliation to the Iranian rocket attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq.
Biden ordered the strikes against facilities used by the militias near Syria’s border with Iraq.
The Department of Defense (DOD) released a statement confirming the strikes but did not specify whether the missiles inflicted casualties beyond the structures.
In recent weeks, Iranian-backed militias have fired rockets at both the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and another U.S. base in Iraq.
Thursday's retaliation is the first known military action by Biden since he was sworn into office just over a month ago.