US Carries Out Airstrikes Targeting ‘Iran-Backed’ Groups in Syria
A Pentagon statement on August 15 said a US base in al-Tanf, Syria, was attacked by a series of drones causing no damage or injuries. There was no claim of responsibility for the attack. The White House has not provided evidence that an Iranian-backed group carried out the attack.
The US occupies about a third of Syrian territory with 900 troops. Washington claims its forces remain in Syria to ensure the enduring defeat of the Islamic State. However, Iranian-backed groups support the government of Bashar al-Assad, an avowed enemy of ISIS. In recent months, ISIS has carried out several attacks against Assad’s forces, killing scores of soldiers.
President Joe Biden asserted he had Constitutional authority to carry out the strikes. “The President gave the direction for these strikes pursuant to his Article II authority to protect and defend US personnel by disrupting or deterring attacks by Iran-backed groups,” the press release said.
While Article II may give Biden the power to defend US troops, Congress has never passed a declaration of war or authorization of military force for Syria. Without Congressional authorization, three successive American presidents bombed Syria.
US bombs Somalia for the third time this summer
Bottom line, it’s been a long time since the United States was not bombing Somalia. This comes after a particularly bloody period during the GWOT in which the CIA was using the country to detain and torture terror suspects from across North Africa. Whether this has ultimately been a good thing for the country or for the broader security of the region, one need only to look at the continued instability and impoverishment of the people, and of course, the persistent presence of al-Shabab itself.