“As tonight’s strikes demonstrated, President Biden has made it clear that he will act to protect US personnel. In view of the series of ongoing attacks by Iranian-backed groups targeting US interests in Iraq, the president has ordered further military action to disrupt and deter such attacks, ”Kirby said.
Returning to the White House on Sunday night after a weekend at Camp David, Biden did not stop to answer questions about the airstrikes, telling reporters gathered on the South Lawn: “I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
A spokesperson for the National Security Council referred CNN’s request for comment to the Pentagon on Sunday.
The first known US military action under Biden was in February when it struck a site in Syria used by two Iranian-backed militia groups in response to rocket attacks against US forces in the region. . The strikes raised concern from lawmakers, who said Biden had not sought the necessary authorization from Congress. The White House had declared that the strikes were supported by Article II of the Constitution as well as by the Charter of the United Nations.
This story has been updated with an additional background.