PRESIDENT Joe Biden on Friday signaled that the Syria airstrike he ordered that reportedly killed 22 Iran-backed fighters was a warning to Iran to “be careful.”
Responding to a reporter’s question on what he wanted to get across with the airstrikes, Biden said: “You can’t act with impunity. Be careful.”
The airstrike reportedly killed 22 people and was apparently done in retaliation for a February 15 rocket attack on the American military base at Erbil International Airport.
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the targets “were chosen to correspond to the recent attacks on facilities and to deter the risk of additional attacks over the coming weeks.”
Two Air Force F-15E aircraft were used for the airstrike in Syria and dropped seven 500-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), according to the Military Times.
The bombs destroyed nine facilities and damaged two more, according to Pentagon chief spokesman John Kirby.
It destroyed facilitates at the border control point which is used by numerous Iranian-backed militant groups.
The US targeted a crossing that militia groups utilize to transport weapons across the border.
Biden used his Constitution-given authority as commander-in-chief to defend American personnel in response to the February 15 attack that injured several American contractors, an American service member and killed one contractor who was not American.
That attack was later claimed by the Guardians of Blood Brigade.
Iraqi militia Kataeb Hezbollah ripped Thursday’s airstrike as “a heinous crime in violation of international law and insulting to the sovereignty of Iraq.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated on its website that the death toll from the airstrike was expected to increase.
“The attack left several militiamen injured, some seriously,” the statement read.
“There are unconfirmed reports of more casualties.”
Following the airstrike on Thursday, Biden, Psaki and Vice President Kamala Harris were accused of being hypocrites due to previous tweets slamming former President Donald Trump’s attacks on Syria.
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Biden in a 2019 tweet called Trump “erratic” and “impulsive” for threatening to bomb Iran.
“No president should order a military strike without fully understanding the consequences,” Biden wrote at the time.
“We don’t need another war in the Middle East, but Trump’s actions toward Iran only make that more likely.”