Joe Biden said the United States is ‘taking necessary and proportionate action’ in response to attacks against American personnel and facilities in Iraq and Syria
Joe Biden has told Congress that he is justified in his latest airstrikes against Iranian-backed militants in Yemen.
In a letter sent to Congress, the US president said he is “consistent with the War Powers Resolution”, adding that militia groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) carried out a series of attacks against US personnel and facilities in Iraq and Syria. The latest strikes came in response to an attack that killed three service members and injured dozens more at the “Tower 22” base in Jordan.
Biden said the US is “taking necessary and proportionate action consistent with international law” as self-defence. He also said he is not ruling out “additional measures” should they become necessary.
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Chad Pergram, Senior Congressional Correspondent for Fox News, said that the president stated: “The United States is taking necessary and proportionate action consistent with international law and in the exercise of the United States’ inherent right of self-defense as reflected in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. If necessary, I will direct additional measures, including against the IRGC and IRGC-affiliated personnel and facilities, as appropriate, to address the series of attacks against United States forces and facilities.”
The US and Britain launched new airstrikes on Houthis in the southern Red Sea and the Bab al Mandab in Yemen last night, the Ministry of Defence has said. It is thought the strikes killed around 40 people. RAF FGR4s were supported by Voyager tankers, with the Typhoons employing Paveway IV precision-guided bombs “against multiple military targets identified by careful intelligence analysis at three locations”, the MoD said.
“At As Salif, due west of Sanaa on the Red Sea coast, our aircraft targeted a ground control station inside a defensive position. This station had been used to control Houthi drones, both attack and reconnaissance types, launched from further inland, operating over the sea against international shipping.
“A second drone ground control station was confirmed to be at Al Munirah, on the same stretch of coastline. As with As Salif, the station provided direct control of reconnaissance and attack drones targeting shipping in the Red Sea, its position on the coast allowing it to maintain the line of sight data links such weapons require to target ships with any accuracy.
“The Typhoons also attacked a significant number of targets at Bani. An initial group of facilities there were successfully struck by the RAF on the night of January 11, and since then a further set of buildings at the site had been positively confirmed as involved in the Houthi drone and missile operations and were duly targeted on this occasion.”
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British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The Houthis’ attacks on commercial and military vessels in the Red Sea are illegal and unacceptable and it is our duty to protect innocent lives and preserve freedom of navigation. That is why the Royal Air Force engaged in a third wave of proportionate and targeted strikes against Houthi military targets in Yemen. We acted alongside our US allies, with the support of many international partners, in self-defence and in accordance with international law.
“This is not an escalation. We have already successfully targeted launchers and storage sites involved in Houthi attacks, and I am confident that our latest strikes have further degraded the Houthis’ capabilities. Having recently met those British personnel stationed in the region, I know the dedication and professionalism with which they serve our nation’s armed forces and I would like to thank them for ensuring this operation was a success.”