President Joe Biden has defended his decision to launch a missile strike onto Syria amid criticisms from his own Democratic Party members.
In a letter penned to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Biden said United States forces strategically targeted “Iran-supported non-state militia groups.”
“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,” Biden said.
The president claimed the attack was in response to an earlier provocation and attack on U.S.-Iraqi coalition forces weeks ago.
“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, which wounded one United States service member, wounded four United States contractors, including one critically, and killed one Filipino contractor,” Biden wrote in the letter. “These groups are also engaged in ongoing planning for future such attacks.”
Biden continued: “In response, I directed this military action to protect and defend our personnel and our partners against these attacks and 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.”
Amid criticism from Republicans and at least one Democratic member, who claimed Biden lacked authority to conduct the missile attack, Biden defended that he was authorized under Article II of the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution.
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, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct United States foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive. 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.
I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.