Joe Biden and his press secretary are under fire over past tweets that targeted the Trump administration’s airstrikes in the Middle East after the president approved bombing of Syria last night.
The US dropped seven precision-guided bombs weighing 500 pounds in an attempt to reportedly kill 22 Iran-backed militia smuggled weapons at a border crossing with Iraq.
Four years ago, today’s White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted about her dismay over “illegal” Trump air strikes on the same country.
What is the legal authority for strikes? Assad is a brutal dictator. But Syria is a sovereign country, ”wrote Psaki in April 2017.
Joe Biden reaches for his face mask when he appears at a press conference on Wednesday. The president ordered strikes on the border between Syria and Iraq last night, despite earlier tweets criticizing Trump’s “unpredictable” foreign policy in the Middle East
White House press secretary Jen Psaki (pictured yesterday) tweeted four years ago to attack the legality of Trump’s strikes against Syria, saying, “Assad is a brutal dictator. But Syria is a sovereign country. ‘
Left-wing Democrat Ilhar Omar was one of those who drew attention to the old tweet
Joe Biden described Trump as “unpredictable” and “impulsive” on June 22, 2019, after reports that Trump was considering air strikes on Iran after Tehran shot down a US drone over the Strait of Hormuz
The left-wing Democrat Ilhar Omar was one of those who drew attention to the old tweet and replied, “Big question.”
At the time of Psaki’s tweet, Donald Trump ordered bombing of a Syrian air base in retaliation for a chemical weapon attack directed by President Bashr al-Assad against his own people.
A tweet from Biden surfaced in which he described Trump as “unpredictable” and “impulsive” on June 22, 2019 after reports that then-President Trump reported air strikes after Tehran shot down a US drone over the street Iran had been thinking about from Hormuz.
‘Trump’s erratic, impulsive actions are the last thing we need as commanders in chief. No president should order a military strike without fully understanding the consequences, ”wrote Biden.
“We don’t need another war in the Middle East, but Trump’s actions against Iran only make it more likely.”
Trump tweeted at the time about being “cocked and charged” to bomb Iran, but ended up changing his mind “10 minutes before strike” over fear of civilian casualties.
Another tweet from Biden in October 2019 emerged in which he again described then-President Trump as “unpredictable” and “impulsive” because he had decided to withdraw troops from Syria, where they had supported Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS .
A Turkish invasion was launched against Kurdish factions and there were allegations of war crimes, including summary executions. The resulting conflict would result in more than 300,000 people being displaced.
As he vied for the Democratic nomination, Biden told a crowd in Iowa, “Last week’s events … had a devastating clarity about how dangerous this president is.”
He claimed that the Trump administration “abandoned” Kurdish allies in the region and created a vacuum for ISIS to reclaim lost territory.
Trump pictured with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left), National Security Advisor John Bolton (center) and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders in June 2019. Trump later announced that the US had been “cocked and loaded” before the withdrawal were to beat Iran by retaliatory strikes over the shooting down of a US drone over the Strait of Hormuz
It comes after Biden sanctioned a gruesome bombing in eastern Syria last night that killed 22 Iran-backed fighters while trying to transport weapons across Iraq.
The airstrike marked the Biden administration’s first military action following repeated tensions between Iran and Trump’s White House over the past four years, culminating in the aftermath of Qassem Soleimani’s murder in early 2020.
The strike appeared to be the first US retaliatory strike following missile strikes on US targets in Iran that injured American troops and killed a contractor.
Announcing the strike, Pentagon chief spokesman John Kirby said: “This appropriate military response has been carried out in conjunction with diplomatic measures, including consultation with coalition partners.”
The operation sends a clear message: President Biden will act to protect American and coalition personnel. At the same time, we took deliberate action to de-escalate the overall situation in Eastern Syria and Iraq. ‘
Pentagon officials said they offered several larger audiences, but Biden agreed to the smallest option.
Retaliatory acts against US military personnel have occurred several times in recent years. The rocket strikes against US positions in Iraq came as Washington and Tehran looked for a way to revert to the 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by former President Donald Trump.
Biden government officials condemned the February 15 missile attack near the city of Irbil in the semi-autonomous Kurdish-led region of Iraq, but as recently as this week officials said they had not determined who carried it out.
The US dropped seven 500 pound JDAMs (file picture) on seven targets at an intersection where militia groups were moving guns across the border
Authorities said the airstrike targeted structures of two Iranian-backed militias in Al Bukamal (pictured).
Officials have found that in the past Iran-backed Shiite militia groups were responsible for numerous rocket attacks targeting US personnel or facilities in Iraq.
Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said on Tuesday that Iraq was responsible for investigating the February 15 attack.
“At the moment we cannot give you a definite attribution of who is behind these attacks, which groups, and I will not go into the tactical details of all the weapons used here,” said Kirby.
“Let’s finish and wrap up the investigation, and when we have more to say, we will.”
A little-known Shiite militant group called Saraya Awliya al-Dam, Arabic for Guardians of Blood Brigade, took responsibility for the February 15 attack.
A week later, a rocket attack in Baghdad’s Green Zone appeared to target the US embassy premises, but no one was injured.
Iran said this week it has no ties to the Guardians of Blood Brigade.
“I am confident that we are pursuing the goal, we know what we hit,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters who were flying with him from California to Washington.
Shortly after the air strikes, he added, “We are confident that this target has been used by the same Shiite militants who carried out the strikes,” he said of the February 15 missile attack in northern Iraq that killed a civilian contractor and wounded a US service member and other coalition personnel.
Austin said he recommended the action to Biden.
“We have said several times that we will respond on our timeline,” Austin said. “We wanted to be sure that the connectivity was right and we wanted to be sure that we had the right goals.”
The video shows glowing splinters and smoke filling the air after a rocket landed in the middle of a street in Erbil on February 15. In addition to the wounded US contractors and the death of the foreign contractor, five Iraqi civilians were wounded in the attack
The frequency of attacks by Shiite militia groups on US targets in Iraq declined late last year before Biden’s inauguration, although Iran is now pushing America to revert to Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal.
The US, under the previous Trump administration, accused Iran-backed groups of carrying out the attacks.
Tensions mounted after a Washington-led drone attack killed Iranian top gene Qassem Soleimani and powerful Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis last year.
Trump had said the death of a US contractor was a red line and would provoke an escalation in the US in Iraq.
The assassination of a U.S. civilian contractor in a rocket attack in Kirkuk in December 2019 sparked combat on Iraqi soil that brought the country to the brink of proxy war.
The US armed forces in Iraq have been significantly reduced to 2,500 employees and no longer take part in combat missions with Iraqi armed forces in ongoing operations against the Islamic state group.
ESCALATING TENSIONS BETWEEN THE USA AND IRAN
May 2018: Trump withdraws from the Iranian nuclear deal drawn up under President Obama in 2015.
August 2018: The Trump administration imposes first round of sanctions and bans trade in a number of business areas
November 2018: The Trump administration imposes a second round of sanctions on the oil and banking industries. The sanctions have a crippling effect on the Iranian economy
April 2019: Trump calls one arm of the Iranian military a “terrorist group” – an inflammatory move that prompts Iran to strike back, calling the US a “state sponsor of terrorism”.
The Iraqi security forces will be deployed on the second day of protest at the US embassy in Baghdad, Iraq in December 2019
Under siege: US soldiers monitor the US embassy in Baghdad from an observation post in December 2019
May 2019: Four tankers – including two from US ally Saudi Arabia – are hit and damaged in the Gulf of Oman. The US blames Iran for the attack
May 2019: A rocket lands near the US embassy in Baghdad and causes Trump to tweet: “If Iran wants to fight, this is the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again! ‘
June 2019: Iran shoots down a US surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz. An angry Trump considering launching air strikes in retaliation
July 2019: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said if more American drones breach Iranian airspace, they will get the same response as the one that was blown from the sky the previous month
July 2019: Additional troops and fighter jets deployed in the Middle East to defend American forces and interests
September 2019: Iran is blamed for an attack on two Saudi oil fields, which are responsible for five percent of the world’s oil supply – or about 5.7 million barrels a day. State Secretary Pompeo described the attack as an “act of war”.
September 2019: US security officials reportedly presented President Trump with a menu of options, including military strikes and cyberattacks
November 2019: Rocket attacks on Iraqi military bases that house American service personnel increase. Intelligence officials believe Hezbollah was behind the attacks
December 2019: Thousands of pro-Iranian militiamen storm the US embassy in Baghdad.
January 2020: Trump orders a Reaper Drone strike that wipes out Iranian top general Qassem Soleimani in front of the airport in Baghdad.
Lieutenant General and Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was slaughtered in a US reaper drone attack in January 2020
Iran vows revenge for the killing and rocket attacks are launched by pro-Iranian factions against US bases in Iraq.
Two British warships are said to be escorting British flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz.
March 2020: Another missile attack in Iraq kills two Americans – a soldier and a contractor – and a British soldier.
April 2020: Revolutionary Guard chief Hossein Salami said he ordered Tehran’s naval forces to destroy all US warships that threaten the “safety” of Iranian ships after Trump told the US Navy to fire at Iranian ships they owned harass at sea.
October 2020: The US threatens to close its embassy in Baghdad if the attacks don’t stop.
December 2020: Rocket spray is launched in the US embassy. Trump swears that if an American is killed, he will launch a massive bombing campaign.
January 2021: Iran seizes a South Korean flag tanker in the Gulf, the first such seizure in more than a year.
It is under Iranian pressure on Seoul to release $ 7 billion Iranian oil funds that have been frozen due to US sanctions.