President Biden Ordered Airstrikes On Syria

April 6, 2021

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On February 25, President Biden ordered an airstrike on an Iranian backed militia in Syria. This move by the administration has received pushback from members of both parties, left-leaning Democrats attacked the move as warmongering, whereas moderate Democrats approved of the attack but criticized the short notice congress was given beforehand. Republicans were upset with their reaction.  

The militia that was targeted by the attack was Iranian, operating in Syria, and the attack was a retaliation for the attack against American troops in Syria that killed multiple militants, according to comments made by a US official to CNN. The strikes destroyed militant facilities along the Syrian and Iraqui border. Members of the administration claimed the attack would send a clear message that attacks on American soldiers will not be tolerated.

Representative Ro Khanna, member of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, criticized the attack as a continuation of America’s Forever Wars and that the president should not be making offensive military directions without congressional approval. Senator Chris Murphy said that he trusts the president in military decisions, but that retaliatory strikes do require congressional approval.  Khanna said that he will hold this administration accountable.

The airstrike is unconstitutional. While the president has authority over the military, Congress must approve retaliatory strikes unless the president is granted control. Congress never formally declared war on Syria or Iraq. There has been a significant movement to withdraw the Authorized Use of Military Force “AUMF” to help the United States end wars in the Middle East, but so far it is still active.

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