USA lawmakers question legality of Biden's air strikes in Syria

Russia, ally of Syria, fumes at U.S. airstrike against militia group

Russia, ally of Syria, fumes at U.S. airstrike against militia group

"This makes President Biden the seventh consecutive USA president to order strikes in the Middle East", Khanna added. "If there's anything Iran is good at, it's probing the enemy and testing its red lines - all while seeking to gain leverage in doing so".

The Pentagon on Friday said the United States was responding to attacks by Iran-backed militias earlier this month in which one usa military contractor was killed and nine other people were wounded. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the USA informed Russia of the strike just minutes before it was carried out.

Visiting Houston on Friday, Biden told reporters that the message he was sending to Iran with the attack in Syria was "you can't act with impunity, be careful".

President Joe Biden said Friday that a U.S. airstrike against an Iranian-backed militia in eastern Syria should be seen by Iran as a warning. Once a daily occurrence during the war that followed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, what are known as indirect fire attacks - rockets or mortars usually launched from fixed sites or the back of trucks - have been sporadic in recent years, often causing no harm. Additionally, five other contractors were wounded as well as a USA service member.

Russian Federation has been fighting alongside Syrian government forces in the country's nine-year civil war, clashing repeatedly with US forces and USA -allied Kurds who have been battling the terror group Islamic State on the same battlefield.

John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said the airstrike targeting the two militias was meant to limit the group's capability of launching future attacks and send a "clear message" that the United States will protect its citizens. "The targets were chosen to correspond to the recent attacks-the facilities are utilized by KSS and KH-and to deter the risk of additional attacks over the coming weeks".

Kataib Hezbollah, one of the militias the Pentagon targeted, denied any role in the February 15 rocket attack in the Iraqi city of Irbil. In a statement, the group said one person had died in Friday's strike.

"While the military strike was necessary to protect our personnel in the region and deter further attacks", he said, "I have spoken with the Biden administration's national security team and they are committed to using diplomacy and engagement with Iran, and also working with our allies and partners in the region to deescalate tensions going forward".

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Even so, Iraq's government signaled its discomfort with the attack.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he is "confident" the USA hit back at the "same Shia militants that conducted the strikes", referring to the fatal February 15 rocket attack in northern Iraq.

"Our cooperation with the global coalition forces is limited to a specific fight Daesh and its threat to Iraq, in a way that preserves the sovereignty of Iraq", the statement said, using an Arabic term for the Islamic State. Inhofe called the airstrikes correct and proportionate, but also threw in barbed criticism of Biden's efforts to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal. After withdrawing, Trump authorized punishing sanctions on Iran, which has since begun enriching uranium at higher levels.

Joe Biden said that a United States airstrike in Syria should be seen by Iran as a warning.

Asked if the airstrikes influences reopening talks with Iran, Psaki said the status of that, at this point in time, remains that the USA is open to having these diplomatic conversations. "It shouldn't come as a shock to anybody that we're going to do what we have to do to notify but we're also going to do what we have to do to protect our forces". Senior Iraqi officials have said they expect a more nuanced policy by the Biden administration toward Iraq. "I and others went to Tehran and had a frank and open discussion with the Iranians", he said.

Congressman Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said that the Syrian strike should serve as a reminder that the U.S. will always defend its partners, allies and interests.

"We need to extricate from the Middle East, not escalate", progressive Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., said in a statement Friday.

Salim reported from Baghdad.

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