Joe Biden

Letter to Congressional Leaders on United States Military Operations in Syria

November 10, 2023

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Madam President:)

As I have reported previously, militia groups affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have perpetrated a series of attacks against United States personnel and facilities in Iraq and Syria. These attacks, including more than a dozen attacks over the last week, have placed under grave threat the lives of United States personnel and Coalition operating alongside United States forces.

As I reported on October 27, 2023, in response to this series of attacks and continuing threats of future attacks, at my direction, United States forces conducted targeted strikes against facilities in eastern Syria used by the IRGC and IRGC-affiliated groups.

On the night of November 8, 2023, at my direction, United States forces conducted a precision strike against a facility in eastern Syria used by the IRGC and IRGC-affiliated groups for weapons storage and other purposes. The strike was taken to establish deterrence and was conducted in a manner designed to limit the risk of escalation and avoid civilian casualties. I directed the strike in order to protect and defend our personnel, to degrade and disrupt the ongoing series of attacks against the United States and our partners, and to deter Iran and Iran-backed militia groups from conducting or supporting further attacks on United States personnel and facilities.

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. The United States took this 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. The United States stands ready to take further action, as necessary and appropriate, to address further threats or attacks.

I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.


Signature of Joe Biden

NOTE: Identical letters were sent to J. Michael Johnson, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Patricia L. Murray, President pro tempore of the Senate. An original was not available for verification of the content of this letter.

Joseph R. Biden, Letter to Congressional Leaders on United States Military Operations in Syria Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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