President Joe Biden’s airstrikes in Syria, according to the White House, have protected US personnel and facilities while also reducing the risk of further attacks “in the coming weeks.” Airstrikes targeting facilities belonging to a powerful Iranian-backed Iraqi armed group killed one fighter and injured several others in Syria on Thursday.
The strikes came in the aftermath of recent attacks on US interests in Iraq, including last week’s rocket attack that killed a civilian contractor and wounded a member of the U.S. service and other coalition forces.
Asked if the airstrikes affect the reopening of talks with Iran, Psaki said that at this point in time, the position remains that the US is open to such diplomatic talks. The Europeans have been issuing an invitation right now and “we’re waiting to hear back,” she said.
In response to a question on the legal authority to carry out the strikes in Syria, Psaki said that, as a matter of domestic law, pursuant to his Article Two Authority, the President took that action to defend US personnel.
The objectives have been chosen to… reflect the recent attacks on facilities and to deter the risk of further attacks over the coming weeks. The US acted in accordance with its right to self-defense, as reflected in Article 50-1 of the UN Charter, as a matter of international law. To address the threat, the strikes were both necessary and proportionate to the previous attacks,” Psaki said.
She went on to say that the national security team had conducted a legal “review” beforehand.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a separate news conference that multiple attacks on American people, positions, interests that took lives and injured others have occurred in the last 10 days.
“He said, “We both had to respond to these attacks, but also to an ongoing, very clear threat.
The President of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Adam Smith, said that the Syrian strike should serve as a reminder that the US will always defend its partners, allies and interests.
This strike against an Iranian-backed militia has been defensive in nature, following several rocket attacks in Iraq against our forces. Given recent, regrettable actions by Iran-backed militias who have targeted our forces in Iraq, whose mission is to assist the Iraqi people in their fight against ISIS, the strike was proportionate and appropriate,” Smith said.
The attack was opposed by Indian American congressman Ro Khanna.
President Biden has now ordered strikes in the Middle East for the seventh time in a row. There is absolutely no justification for a president to authorize a military strike without Congressional permission that is not in self-defense against an imminent threat,’ Khanna said.
We’ve been running to end wars, not to escalate the Middle East conflicts. Our foreign policy must be rooted in diplomacy and the rule of law, he tweeted, “not without Congressional authorization for retaliatory air strikes.”
The US needs to escape, not escalate, from the Middle East. Khanna believes that the president should not take such actions without first obtaining explicit approval.
He said that he spoke with (former President Donald) Trump “against endless war, and I will speak out against it when we have a Democratic President.”