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Biden launched airstrikes on multiple facilities in Syria in response to rocket attacks on U.S. targets in neighboring Iraq. 

The Pentagon said the airstrikes were launched against a “number of Iranian-backed militant groups including Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada.”

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According to The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based monitoring group, the Biden-authorized airstrikes killed at least 22 pro-Iranian fighters and injured several more. Several trucks carrying munitions were also destroyed. 

Max Abrahms, a professor of political science and public policy at Northeastern University, raised questions about the presence of Iranian militias in Iraq.

“Biden wanted to respond to the incident in Iraq, but he wanted to do it in a way that didn’t seem too heavy-handed… the more fundamental question that needs to be asked, and isn’t, is what are Iranian militias doing in Iraq? The answer is they are there partly because the U.S. toppled (Iraq’s former president) Saddam Hussein.”

Current White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki questioned Trump in 2017 after he launched airstrikes against Syria.

“Also what is the legal authority for strikes? Assad is a brutal dictator. But Syria is a sovereign country.”

Psaki justified Biden’s recent airstrike. She said the Defense Department briefed congressional leadership prior to launching the airstrikes and that there will be a more in-depth briefing next week. She called the action “pursuant to [the president’s] Article II authority to defend U.S. personnel.”

“The targets were chosen to correspond to the recent attacks on facilities and to deter the risk of additional attacks over the coming weeks,” Psaki said

“As a matter of international law, the United States acted pursuant to a threat of self-defense as reflected in Article 51 of the UN Charter. The strikes were both necessary to address the threat and were proportionate to the prior attacks.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he was “confident in the target we went after. We know what we hit.”

California Democrat and Representative Rohit Khanna disagreed with the airstrikes.

“There is absolutely no justification for a president to authorize a military strike that is not in self-defense against an imminent threat without congressional authorization. We need to extricate from the Middle East, not escalate.”

“I spoke against endless war with Trump, and I will speak out against it when we have a Democratic President.”

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine said in a statement that the “American people deserve to hear the administration’s rationale for these strikes and its legal justification for acting without coming to Congress. Offensive military action without congressional approval is not constitutional absent extraordinary circumstances.”

Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey agreed with the airstrikes.

“The commander-in-chief has a responsibility to protect Americans at home and abroad,” Toomey said and added that Biden was “right to respond.”

“Everything we do in our foreign policy and national security will be measured by a basic metric: Is it going to make life better, safer and easier for working families?” Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor nominee, said during a Feb. 4 press briefing at the White House.

Written ByLinn Win

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