March 06, 2021
President Joe Biden had ordered airstrikes on two targets inside Syria last month but the second was cancelled, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“After 10 days of deliberations, President Biden had ordered the Pentagon to conduct airstrikes on two targets inside Syria Feb. 26 when an aide delivered an urgent warning about 30 minutes before the bombs were scheduled to fall,” said the report.
The newspaper said that a woman and children were in the courtyard at one of the sites, according to battlefield reconnaissance.
With the F-15Es in flight, the president stopped the attack on the second target but ordered the strike on the first to proceed.
The US military has said the location of the first strike was used by Iran-supported Iraqi armed groups.
The previously undisclosed episode involving Biden’s first known use of force as commander in chief “was an unexpected coda to a methodical decision-making approach in which the Biden administration sought to balance competing interests in the Middle East tinderbox,” said The Wall Street Journal.
“The goal was to signal to Iran that the new White House team would respond to a Feb. 15 rocket attack in northern Iraq against the US-led coalition but wasn’t seeking to escalate a confrontation with Tehran,” senior administration officials said.
To reinforce the point, a confidential message was sent to Tehran after the US airstrike, administration officials disclosed, without providing details.