Biden Notifies Congress of US Strikes in Syria

( – On Saturday, 3/25/23, President Joe Biden informed Congress of his decision to launch an airstrike against Iranian-affiliated facilities in Syria. This came in response to a suspected Iranian drone that attacked a facility where US personnel were housed- killing an American contractor and injuring five US service members. The airstrike, according to Biden, was carried out to defend American personnel, stop ongoing attacks on the US and its allies, and discourage future attacks on US installations and personnel by Iran and its armed groups. The president emphasized that the airstrike was carried out in a way that sought to establish deterrence, avoid escalation, and prevent civilian casualties.

The War Powers Act stipulates that the president must notify Congress within 48 hrs of any military action. This requirement is a typical part of the process of the approval of military type responses. Both Senate President Patty Murray and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy received the notification. John Kirby, the head of strategic communications for the National Security Council, reaffirmed on Sunday that the US is still committed to maintaining a military presence in Syria to fight ISIS.

The airstrike is likely to heighten tensions with Iran, whose proxy groups are aligned with the ones targeted by the US. Although Tehran is not always directly involved in these groups attacks, the US already has sanctioned Iran for providing “suicideā€ drones to Russia to use in the Ukraine conflict. On Thursday, 3/23/23, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, stated that the US is concerned about Iran’s potential to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon within two weeks and to manufacture one within months.

The Pentagon spokesman, Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, emphasized that the US does not want conflict with Iran- but the strikes were meant to send a message that America will take the protection of its personnel seriously and will respond quickly and decisively if threatened.

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