President Biden originally ordered two airstrikes in Syria last week, but called one off after learning just 30 minutes before the bombs were scheduled to drop that a woman and children were nearby, according to a report.
The 46th commander-in-chief, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, had directed the Pentagon to scrap the second of two targets after an aide urgently warned him of the presence of a woman and children in the area.
Reached for comment by The Post, National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said in a lengthy statement that the administration was reviewing, under orders from the president, the “extant authorizations and delegations of Presidential authority with respect to these matters,” without addressing the specific story.
News of the second strike was not previously known prior to the Journal’s reporting.
This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows buildings that were destroyed by a US airstrike in Syria on Feb. 25, 2021.Maxar Technologies via AP
On Feb. 26, the US destroyed a facility in Syria allegedly used by an Iran-allied militia group, which marked Biden’s first known use of military force in his presidency. The move came as a shock to Congress, with a large and bipartisan swath of members publicly bemoaning the fact they were not given any advance warning.
Biden said the attack was intended to deter a Shiite militia group from attacking US troops inside Iraq.
More buildings that were destroyed by an airstrike in Syria on Feb. 25, 2021.Maxar Technologies via AP
“I directed this military action consistent with my responsibility to protect United States citizens both at home and abroad and in furtherance of United States national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct United States foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive,” he wrote in his letter to Congress informing them of the strike.
In response to the military action, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) reintroduced his war powers resolution, which passed in the last Congress but was vetoed by President Donald Trump.
On Feb. 26, the US destroyed a facility in Syria allegedly used by an Iran-allied militia group, which marked Biden’s first known use of military force in his presidency.Samuel Corum/Getty Images
The resolution curbs the commander-in-chief’s ability to declare war or take military action without congressional approval.