US launched airstrikes in Syria targeting Iranian-backed militia. The airstrikes were the first military act of Joe Biden, who said that they should be seen as a warning to Iran. He warned Iran to ‘be careful’ and that it ‘can’t act with impunity’. The airstrikes targeted facilities near the Iraqi border used by Iranian-backed militia groups.
The strikes killed 22 militia members, said a Syrian war monitoring group. This was in response to a series of rocket attacks by Iranian-backed militia group targeting US soldiers in Iraq on Feb 15 2021.
Earlier Pentagon Press secretary John Kirby called the attack an “unambiguous message”
He said – “ We will protect our interest, and we are certainly going to act to protect our people and the forces of our allies and partners. That is an unambiguous clear message to anyone in the region, about what the stakes are if you’re going to conduct attacks on our people and the Iraqi people.
Have Airstrikes put Biden on the backfoot ?
Biden administrative first military action didn’t go down well with some of this own party members. Some democrats criticised Biden for launching the attack without conferring with all the congress.
Tim Kaine (Senator, Virginia) requested a briefing from Biden administration. He said.
“the American people deserve to hear the administration’s rationale for these strikes and its legal justification for acting without coming to congress . Offensive military action without congressional approval is not constitutional absent extraordinary circumstance”
Responding to criticism, the white house defended the action saying the Pentagon briefed congressional leadership before the action.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s staff was notified before the strikes, according to a democratic aide.
A full classified briefing will be done early next week and sooner if congress wants it, according to NSC spokesperson.
However, the airstrike garnered Biden some rare praise from the other side of the aisle.
Sen. Lindsey Graham thanked Biden for retaliation on Twitter.