The facile claim that these strikes were defensive in nature is an absurdity coming from an occupying force, a fact which most seem to gloss over. This was a violation of Syria’s sovereignty and territory, and another act of imperialist aggression.
On February 25th 2021, the United States bombed the Syrian Arab Republic, on the border between Iraq and Syria around Abu Komal, which is located in the Deir ez-Zor province in eastern Syria. According to the Syrian Arab news agency four were wounded and one person was martyred.
Shortly after the attack the Pentagon released a statement saying:
“At President Biden’s direction US military forces, earlier this evening, conducted airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian backed militant groups in eastern Syria. These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel. Specifically, the strikes destroy multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian backed militant groups”.
Pentagon Press Release
This statement claims that the strikes were defensive, which is an absurdity in and of itself, Syria has not bombed the United States, nor declared war on the United States. Syria is on the other side of the planet. The United States has no business being in Syria.
Moreover, the claim that they were meant for de escalation simply does not compute; bombing another country is tantamount to a declaration of war, not de escalation.
International condemnation of airstrike
China, Venezuela and Iran all condemned the attack.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, strongly condemned the bombing and called for unconditional respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, which should not be used to settle geopolitical scores.https://if-cdn.com/kpBRIWt?v=1&app=1
So according to the Biden administration this attack on Syria was a response by the United States to recent attacks on its personnel.
Now it’s widely assumed by the media that what they’re referring to is a rocket attack that took place on February 15 in Erbil in Iraq, where an American contractor was killed and six others were wounded, including an American soldier, and then another instance on February 22 when a rocket landed inside the green zone in Baghdad, where the US Embassy is located. It is the biggest embassy in the world, almost the size of Vatican City, which looks more like a military installation than anything else.
So while the United States claims it’s defending itself and responding to rocket attacks, it conveniently leaves out the obvious; that the United States is in Iraq illegally. It illegally invaded Iraq in 2003 along with Britain; the US led coalition has no right to be in Iraq in the first place, nor in Syria for that matter.https://if-cdn.com/7NQxY8S?v=1&app=1
So you can’t talk about defending yourself when you are the aggressor, when you are the oppressor, when you are illegally on someone else’s land, you’re not defending yourself when you’re on someone else’s land you are attacking.
Moreover, the United States has imposed crippling sanctions on Iran which are indeed a form of siege warfare; it assassinated General Soleimani, it has violated Iran sovereignty numerous times, yet the US is not officially at war with Iran, so why is it bombing Iranian backed militias? Is that supposed to make it acceptable?
PMU not Iranian troops
When the US talks of Iranian backed militias what they really mean are the popular mobilization forces, the PMU, or in Arabic, the al-Ḥashd ash-Sha’ʿbī.
These are not Iranian troops. They were a popular resistance movement, made up of various local ethnic, religious groups which include Shia, Sunni, Christians, Druze, but fought very hard to defeat Daesh, and to resist occupation.
But of course the United States can’t speak of them as a popular resistance because then people would rightfully wonder what they are resisting, which would expose the United States, and their allies, as illegal occupiers, as an invading force which has no right to be there in the first place.https://if-cdn.com/QPtnEPl?v=1&app=1
As long as a Pentagon official or a stenographer from the White House says, Iran or Iranian backed militias, that’s all it takes for everyone’s brains to suddenly shut down and just accept that Joe Biden is bombing another sovereign nation.
First of all, whether Iran has troops, or militias as the US likes to call them, in Syria, or the other way around, this is a matter between Iran and Syria.
The United States has no right to interfere in the internal politics, alliances, partnerships and cooperation between those two countries.
Would the United States just accept it if Syria bombed Korea for having an American base there? Of course not. So this is not a valid argument.https://if-cdn.com/NqnEKDT?v=1&app=1
Syria is a sovereign nation, Iran is a sovereign nation, Iraq is a sovereign nation. But of course this is of no concern to the Americans and British who have colonized the region for centuries, plundering and stealing resources and meddling in the region’s political affairs.
Donald Trump assassinated General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds force along with a senior commander of the al-Ḥashd ash-Sha’bī, the PMU, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.https://if-cdn.com/ID2Gj1O?v=1&app=1
Now Joe Biden bombs the PMU inside Syria. Both these actions only serve to help Daesh. And this wouldn’t be the first time, of course, that the United States and its military actions, whether purposely or not, end up helping Daesh, who are seeking to take over Syria and Iraq.
US habit of bombing those who fight Daesh
In 2016 US warplanes killed 62 Syrian troops in an airstrike and wounded more than 100. These troops were directly involved in the fight against Daesh.
Again in 2018, the US bombed Syrian and Russian troops inside Syria, which only serves to help the foreign backed terrorists, which they were fighting in the first place.
But on top of that they’re not only benefiting Daesh with these actions. Israel is, at the very least, very sure to be happy about Biden’s decision to bomb Syria. After all, for years Israel has been routinely bombing Syria, almost on a weekly basis, taking advantage of the fact that Syria is crippled by war and sanctions.https://if-cdn.com/tKkLPEP?v=1&app=1
Usually Israel almost never admits to the illegal assassinations or bombings that it carries out against other nations and governments, but Israeli officials have previously confirmed that they have carried out close to 1000 airstrikes on Syria in the last decade alone.
Same story, different reaction
Taking into account how close Israel and the United States are in their shared interests, it’s not surprising of course that Joe Biden uses the exact same pretext.
Donald Trump bombed Syria in 2018 over the alleged chemical gas attacks in Douma.
At the time democrats like AOC and Kamala Harris rebuked Trump, citing the illegality of the strikes yet now they’re mostly silent on Biden? This seems to be a case of double standards considering the reaction from the media and Democrats.
Max Abrams, associate professor of Political Science at Northeastern University, and fellow at the Quincy Institute, gives his assessment.
I see what you’re saying and I could definitely go that route. I have seen what you’re describing, which is apparent hypocrisy by Kamala Harris, talking about illegality, Syrian sovereignty. And now she’s the Vice President, and there doesn’t seem to be any respect for Syrian sovereignty.
That said, I see more continuity than differences, because, although Trump, you know, was very reviled in the American public, especially in the media. One of the very few things he ever did in his whole life that was celebrated in aggregate was attacking Syria.
You’ll remember that Fareed Zakaria said after he (Trump) authorized the strike: Congratulations, you know, Donald Trump, you know it’s like your first day as president you’ve finally become a real president. And so, if you want to be popular, regardless of whether you’re on the American political left or right, with the exception of the fringes, but sort of mainstream left, mainstream right, yeah attack Iran, attack Syria. And, you know, people people will quibble but in general, there is political value for that decision making.
Max Abrams, associate professor Northeastern University, fellow at the Quincy Institute
Speaking of continuity, Donald Trump assassinated General Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Quds force and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a senior commander of the PMU.
The PMU were hit once again less than a week ago in the airstrike ordered by Biden.https://if-cdn.com/js9dtVx?v=1&app=1