Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

The United States on Thursday reportedly carried out an airstrike ordered by President Joe Biden on a structure in Syria. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

The United States on Thursday reportedly carried out an airstrike ordered by President Joe Biden on a structure in Syria. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

'Joe Biden Just Dropped Bombs on Syria. Here We Go Again': US Responds to Rocket Attacks With Airstrikes

The president ordered the strikes on facilities the administration says belonged to Iran-backed militia groups.

Common Dreams staff

This is a breaking story… Please check back for possible updates...

Sparking swift criticism of U.S. imperialism, the United States on Thursday carried out airstrikes ordered by President Joe Biden on facilities in Syria that government officials told reporters belonged to Iran-backed militia groups—retaliation for a trio of recent rocket attacks on bases in Iraq that house U.S. troops.

"We cannot escape the realities of how we got here, decades of U.S. war in the Middle East and a continued belief that bombs will somehow bring peace."
—Win Without War

Reuters, Politico, and other news outlets reported that the president ordered the strikes, which was confirmed by the Pentagon.

"Joe Biden just dropped bombs on Syria. Here we go again," tweeted the Gravel Institute, a progressive think tank.

Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah accused Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris of "escalating the wars started by" former President Barack Obama, adding #BackToNormal.

Shahed Ghoreishi, a fellow at Defense Priorities, where he advocates for restraint in U.S. foreign policy, cautioned that the strikes "shouldn't be blown out of proportion" in terms of negotiations on the the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly called the Iran nuclear deal.

Despite warnings that it boosted the chances of another U.S. war, then-President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and implemented a series of devastating economic sanctions; as a candidate for president, Biden vowed that he would return the United States to the JCPOA.

Reuters foreign policy correspondent Idrees Ali reported that "while the strikes appear to be the first retaliatory moves by the United States for what it says are attacks by Iranian-backed forces, the move was limited in scope and narrowly tailored to try and not lead to an escalatory cycle."

Recognizing such reporting, the U.S.-based Win Without War said in a series of tweets Thursday that "we hope all parties will avoid further military force."

"We cannot escape the realities of how we got here, decades of U.S. war in the Middle East and a continued belief that bombs will somehow bring peace," Win Without War said. "History has shown how utterly failed that mentality is, with a cost of countless lives and massive destruction. It must end."

"And we also know that the current crisis is the direct result of Trump's failed 'maximum pressure campaign,'" the group added. "The only path forward is for President Biden to follow through with his commitment to turn from war towards diplomacy, starting with rejoining the JCPOA."

The New York Times on Thursday evening reported on remarks that Pentagon press secretary John Kirby made to journalists traveling with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin:

The American airstrikes on Thursday "specifically destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militia troops, including Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada," Mr. Kirby said.

"This proportionate military response was conducted together with diplomatic measures, including consultation with coalition partners," Mr. Kirby said. "The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American and coalition personnel."

Kirby added that the move was intended as a response to the rockets but did not aim to escalate hostilities with Iran. As he put it: "We have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq."

The strikes came hours after a report from the Costs of War Project at Brown University's Watson Institute and USA Today detailing "counterterrorism" operations by the U.S. military in 85 countries since 2018 as part of its "Global War on Terror," published amid calls for an end to endless war.

In a pair of letters to the White House and Congress earlier this month, coalitions of advocacy groups called for an end "forever wars" and the pursuit of a U.S. foreign policy "consistent with the nation's legal, human, and civil rights obligations, and the moral authority that the United States has long claimed on these issues."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Mark Meadows 'Did Seek That Pardon, Yes Ma'am,' Hutchinson Testifies

The former aide confirmed that attorney Rudy Giuliani also sought a presidential pardon related to the January 6 attack.

Jessica Corbett ·

UN Chief Warns of 'Ocean Emergency' as Leaders Confront Biodiversity Loss, Pollution

"We must turn the tide," said Secretary-General António Guterres. "A healthy and productive ocean is vital to our shared future."

Julia Conley ·

'I Don't F—ing Care That They Have Weapons': Trump Wanted Security to Let Armed Supporters March on Capitol

"They're not here to hurt me," Trump said on the day of the January 6 insurrection, testified a former aide to ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Jake Johnson ·

Facebook Removing Posts About Mailing Abortion Pills—But Not Guns

"Corporations are not your allies in the advancement of civil rights," said one observer.

Kenny Stancil ·

'Morally Bankrupt' G7 Slammed for 'Caving' to Fossil Fuel Lobby on Climate

"People in poverty around the world will pay the highest price for this backtrack by some of the wealthiest countries," one activist warned of the group's new statement on gas investments.

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo