US air strike on Syria sparks new tension in the Middle East

(VOVWORLD) - Tension soared in the Middle East after the US carried out an air strike targeting Iran-backed militants in eastern Syria. Many countries and international organizations have voiced concerns about a dangerous escalation.
US air strike on Syria sparks new tension in the Middle East - ảnh 1Satellite  images of an area close to Iraq-Syria border before and after the US's air strike on Feb 25. (photo: Maxar)

Sources say President Joe Biden gave the order to carry out an air strike against Iran-backed militants last Friday which killed at least 17 people.

Facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in eastern Syria were targeted in response to three recent rocket attacks against US forces in Iraq. Those rocket attacks caused the greatest number of casualties in Iraq in several months.


The Syrian government called the air strike a bad signal from the new Biden administration. In a letter to the UN Security Council last Saturday, Syria’s Foreign Ministry accused the US of violating international law and the UN Charter. It called on the UNSC to take action to prevent further US attacks on Syrian soil.

In a phone call with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed his agreement with the Syrian government and called on all Western countries to abide by the UNSC resolutions on Syria.

Russia and China have officially denounced the US airstrike, calling it a violation of international law. They called on all parties to respect Syria’s national sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and avoid complicating the situation.

Sputniknews quoted Russia’s Foreign Ministry as saying that the attack on the territory of a sovereign country and a UN member is an unacceptable violation of international law.

Critics of President Biden’s decision to launch an airstrike in Syria say Congress has not explicitly authorized any American military action. Congressman Ro Khanna said there is absolutely no justification for a President to authorize a military strike that is not in self-defense against an imminent threat without congressional authorization.

Many Americans recalled on social networks an old tweet by Press Secretary Jen Psaki on July, 2017, that criticized President Trump’s approval of an air strike on Syria.


On Friday the US Department of Defense issued a statement confirming that the strikes were retaliation for recent attacks on American forces and allies in Iraq, adding that they have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq.

Analysts say disagreement within the US reflects concerns about potential consequences. The strike could signal renewed intervention in Syria by the US, who could become bogged down again in a crisis with no foreseeable end. The strike could also provoke an escalation by Iran-backed forces against the US and its allies, threatening efforts to restore peace in the Middle East, which have sparked glimmers of hope recently.
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