Biden Administration Orders Airstrikes on Syria

Jacob Grindstaff, Opinion Editor

On Feb. 25, 2021, President Joe Biden ordered airstrikes against buildings allegedly occupied by Iranian-backed militias in Syria. The airstrike appears to have acted as a retaliation to a rocket attack that struck a U.S.-backed base in Northern Iraq near Irbil. 

The Iranian government condemned the U.S. led airstrikes and denies responsibility for the rocket attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq.

The recent Syrian airstrikes comes across as the first utilization of military force by the Biden administration. The strikes killed at least 22 people according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights based on unconfirmed local reports. 

The Defense Department reports the destruction of various facilities at a border-control point, as well as casualties. However, the Defense Department has yet to elaborate further on the circumstances regarding the casualties.

Although Biden affirms to Congress that the airstrikes he ordered align properly with the U.S.’s right to defend itself, members of his and the opposing party alike demand that the President acts with greater transparency in regards to military-related issues, having ordered the strikes with no congressional authorization.

The Pentagon, however, briefed Congressional leaders prior to the strikes, according to a National Security Council spokesperson. Furthermore, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi’s staff were notified prior to these strikes as well.

Currently, Congress argues that as a result of the War Powers Resolution, presidents face a requirement to inform Congress [as a whole] within a 48 hour period after taking military action. In his letter response, Biden argues that, as Commander-in-Chief, it lies within his constitutional authority.