Biden Tells Congress He Launched Airstrikes in Iraq to ‘Deter’ Future Attacks

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq has claimed five more attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria since Biden launched the airstrikes

In a letter to Congress, President Biden said he launched Christmas Day airstrikes in Iraq to deter future attacks on US troops in Iraq and Syria, but the attacks have continued since then.

The Pentagon said the airstrikes targeted three facilities used by Kataib Hezbollah, one of the main Iran-aligned militias in Iraq, and came in response to an attack on a US base in Erbil that wounded three US troops. The Iraqi government slammed the US for carrying out the airstrikes, saying the bombings killed one serviceman and wounded 18 people, including civilians.

“On the night of December 25, 2023, at my direction, United States forces conducted discrete strikes against three facilities in Iraq used by Iran-affiliated groups for training, logistics support, and other purposes,” Biden said in his letter to Congress. “The strikes were taken to deter future attacks and were conducted in a manner designed to limit the risk of escalation and minimize civilian casualties.”

Al Mayadeen reported that since the US airstrikes were launched, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of Shia militias, has claimed five more attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria. An attack on Wednesday again targeted US troops based in Erbil, Iraq.

Biden said the approximately 2,500 US troops based in Iraq are there under the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, which was passed in the wake of 9/11. On paper, US troops are stationed in Iraq to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIS, a group that did not exist when the 2001 AUMF became law. Biden also claimed that he could bomb Iraq using authorities granted to him by the Constitution.

“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 as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive and to conduct United States foreign relations,” Biden said.

Since mid-October, US troops based in Iraq and Syria have come under attack over 100 times due to Biden’s support for the Israeli onslaught in Gaza. The US has launched several rounds of airstrikes in eastern Syria and Iraq, but the militia groups are not backing down.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.