President Joe Biden, who criticized former President Donald Trump for ordering attacks in Syria, on Thursday ordered airstrikes in that country against targets that were said to be used by Iran-backed militia groups.
That led some to criticize Biden as well as White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who also had attacked Trump’s strikes on Syria.
The strikes killed at least 22 people, according to NBC News, citing the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Biden said upon taking office that he wanted to restore the relationship between Iran and the U.S. that had developed when he was vice president under former President Barack Obama.
But Iran-backed militias recently attacked a coalition base in Irbil, in northern Iraq. One U.S. military contractor was killed in the attacks, which The New York Times labeled “a test of the new administration.”
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby portrayed the bombing in eastern Syria as carefully calibrated, calling it “proportionate” and “defensive.”
The airstrikes “were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel,” Kirby said in a statement.
But to some, they also smacked of political hypocrisy, given the way Biden and Psaki had each criticized Trump’s use of the military while in office.
“Trump’s erratic, impulsive actions are the last thing we need as Commander-in-Chief. No president should order a military strike without fully understanding the consequences,” Biden said in a June 2019 tweet.
“We don’t need another war in the Middle East, but Trump’s actions toward Iran only make that more likely,” he said.
Trump’s erratic, impulsive actions are the last thing we need as Commander-in-Chief. No president should order a military strike without fully understanding the consequences. We don’t need another war in the Middle East, but Trump’s actions toward Iran only make that more likely.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 23, 2019
Psaki, tweeting in April 2017, objected to Trump’s attack on Syria after Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his own people.
“Also what is the legal authority for strikes? Assad is a brutal dictator. But Syria is a sovereign country,” she tweeted.
Also what is the legal authority for strikes? Assad is a brutal dictator. But Syria is a sovereign country.
— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) April 7, 2017
Many on Twitter had something to say when the past comments surfaced.
I’ll take “Things that didn’t age well for $1000.”.
— Joe Lawrence (@pilotmanfsi) February 26, 2021
This is a great time for you to circle back to this one and find a justifiable answer ?
— ?HandHeldFrag? #KBF #KAF (@HandHeldFrag) February 26, 2021
Can’t wait to see how you cover this one up.
— #CIMMA???? (@CovertMMA) February 26, 2021
— Drone Strikes for all who want them (@aturtlenamedbo1) February 26, 2021
NBC News reported that a “senior U.S. defense official” said Thursday’s raid targeted a transit hub near the border between Iraq and Syria.
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