WASHINGTON – President United States of America (AS) Joe Biden formally notify Congress of its decision to authorize airstrikes on Syria this week against what it says are Iran-affiliated facilities.
The US airstrikes came after a suspected Iranian drone struck a facility hosting US personnel in the country, killing an American contractor and wounding five US troops.
“The attack was carried out to protect and maintain the safety of our personnel, to degrade and disrupt the ongoing series of attacks against the United States and our partners, and to prevent militia groups backed by the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iran from carrying out or supporting further attacks on personnel and facilities. United States of America,” Biden said in his letter as quoted by CNN, Sunday (26/3/2023).
The US president added that the strikes were carried out in a manner intended to build deterrence, limit the risk of escalation and avoid civilian casualties.
The notifications are a regular part of the War Powers Act, which requires the president to notify the US Congress within 48 hours of military action. The letter was sent to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate Pro Tempore President, Senator Patty Murray.
The attack is likely to escalate tensions with Iran, which is aligned with the proxy group, although Tehran is not always complicit in directing the attacks they carry out.
The US has sanctioned Tehran for providing attack drones to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine. And on Thursday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley reiterated US concern that Iran has the potential to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon in less than two weeks and produce it in months.
Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder stressed on Friday that the US was not seeking conflict with Iran, but said the strike was meant to send a very clear message that the US would take the protection of its military personnel seriously.
“We will respond quickly and decisively if they are threatened,” he said.
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