Pentagon: Syria strike killed one militia member, injured two

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One militant was killed and two were injured in last week’s U.S. airstrike on facilities used by Iranian-backed militias in Syria, the Pentagon said Monday.

“We will continue to assess, as you know we do, and if that changes, we’ll certainly let you know,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters at a briefing. “But, as of today, we assess one killed and two militia members wounded.”

On Thursday night, the U.S. military struck way stations used by two Iranian-backed militias to transport weapons, personnel and supplies across the border from Syria into Iraq.

The Pentagon said Friday that the strike completely destroyed nine facilities and damaged two others. But it did not provide any numbers of casualties last week, citing an ongoing damage assessment.

Militia officials said Friday one fighter was killed, though the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported at least 22 militant deaths.

The U.S. strike was a response to three recent rocket attacks directed at U.S. personnel and interests in Iraq blamed on Iranian-backed militias, including one in Erbil that killed a non-American contractor working with U.S. forces and injured several U.S. contractors and a U.S. service member.

It was the first major military operation ordered by President Biden, who sought to send a message to Iran without further escalating the situation.

But the strike also prompted some Democratic lawmakers to question Biden’s legal authority for authorizing the strike.

The White House has cited Biden’s authority under Article II of the Constitution to defend U.S. personnel as the domestic legal authority for the strike. Under international law, the administration cited Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which allows for self-defense if attacked.

The White House has also said congressional leaders were briefed ahead of the strike, that more lawmakers and staff were Friday, and that a full classified briefing to Congress would happen this week.

Tags Defense Department Iran Joe Biden Pentagon Syria Syria strike
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