President Biden Strikes Syria


Megan Davelaar

On February 25, President Biden sent an airstrike to Syria. This was Biden’s first military call as president. 

When asked from a reporter about what message he had intended with the airstrike, “You can’t act with impunity. Be careful,” Biden said. 

This strike killed 22 people overnight near the border town of Abu Kamal. Everyone pronounced dead were from Iraq, Hashd al-Shaabi, which is an umbrella force with ties to Iran. 

“I directed this military action to protect and defend our personnel and our partners against these attacks and future such attacks.” Biden wrote in a letter to the speaker of the house. 

This airstrike was ordered as one of two targets. Biden called off the second target after a woman and children were spotted in the area; he wanted to avoid killing civilians. 

“We’re confident that that target was being used by the same Shia militants.” who attacked US troops, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said to reporters. 

Congress has not passed authorization for military force in Syria. Some Democrats argue that the airstrike call was not legally justified.  

“Congress should hold this administration to the same standard it did prior administrations, and require clear legal justifications for military action, especially inside theaters like Syria, where Congress has not explicitly authorized any American military action,” senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut said in a statement. 

Some Republicans were quite pleased with the action, however. 

“It is imperative that our enemies know that attacking Americans comes at a cost.” Lindsey Graham, the senior United States senator from South Carolina, tweeted. 

Jen Psaki, The White House Press Secretary, defended the action as “necessary,” and there was a “thorough, legal response.” The Defense Department briefed congressional leadership beforehand. Biden has yet to brief top senators on the Syria airstrike.