US Bombs Syria 2 Weeks After House Voted Against Withdrawing Troops

Thursday’s airstrikes have been amongst a number of Biden has permitted with out congressional authorization since taking workplace.

The U.S. launched airstrikes in Syria on Thursday after one American contractor was killed and 5 service members have been injured in an assault by a drone that the Pentagon claims was of “Iranian origin.”

The drone assault on a upkeep facility in northeast Syria and the U.S. response got here two weeks after the Home of Representatives voted down a bipartisan decision that will have required President Joe Biden to withdraw all American troops from Syria inside 180 days.

Round 900 U.S. troops and a whole lot of contractors are at present stationed in Syria below a authorized rationale that consultants say is highly dubious at best.

Thursday’s airstrikes in Syria have been amongst a number of Biden has approved with out congressional authorization since taking workplace. In a statement, U.S. Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin mentioned that “on the course of President Biden,” the Pentagon “approved U.S. Central Command forces to conduct precision airstrikes tonight in jap Syria in opposition to amenities utilized by teams affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).”

“The airstrikes have been carried out in response to right this moment’s assault in addition to a sequence of current assaults in opposition to coalition forces in Syria by teams affiliated with the IRGC,” Austin added.

The strikes, which reportedly killed a minimum of eight folks described as “pro-Iran fighters,” spurred one other flurry of questions in regards to the authorized authority that the Biden administration is utilizing to take care of the presence of U.S. troops and perform navy operations in Syria.

Whereas Austin didn’t particularly invoke any authorized authority in his assertion, he did say the U.S. airstrikes have been “meant to guard and defend U.S. personnel” — an obvious reference to Article II of the Constitution.

“We’re at conflict in Syria, however American lawmakers haven’t debated it and the general public barely is aware of,” Vox overseas coverage author Jonathan Guyer tweeted late Thursday. “One of the vital important and least mentioned legacies of George W. Bush’s 20-year-old invasion of Iraq is the best way it’s led to unauthorized without end wars we scarcely talk about.”

Members of Congress have beforehand voiced alarm over the Biden administration’s reliance on Article II to hold out navy operations with out congressional approval, one thing that was additionally executed by earlier administrations.

In 2021, following two rounds of U.S. airstrikes in Syria, greater than 30 Home lawmakers led by Reps. Peter Defazio (D-Ore.), Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), and Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) despatched a letter criticizing the Biden administration’s “harmful declare that Article II of the Structure allows you to bypass congressional authorization to carry out strikes inside Syria.”

The lawmakers additionally rebuked the administration’s insistence that “the wide selection of actions” it has “undertaken as a part of the continued U.S. occupation of a giant swath of Syrian territory is justified by the Authorization for Use of Navy Pressure (AUMF) of 2001,” the measure Congress handed within the wake of the September 11 assaults.

That AUMF has been used by a number of administrations to justify navy operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, and different nations. Opponents of the conflict powers decision geared toward withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria invoked the 2001 AUMF to justify the continued occupation.

Congress has by no means particularly approved the U.S. navy to fight “Iran-backed forces” in Syria.

Earlier this week, as Congress moved to repeal the separate 2002 Iraq Battle AUMF, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tried to go an amendment to vary the language of the authorization to greenlight operations “in opposition to Iranian-backed militias working in Iraq.”

The Graham modification was soundly defeated, with 60 senators voting no.

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