US President Joe Biden ordered two airstrikes in Syria last week but called the second one off after learning just minutes before the bombs were scheduled to be dropped that a woman and children had been spotted in the target zone, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
Reached for comment by The New York Post, National Security Council spokesman Emily Horne said in a lengthy statement that the administration was reviewing, under orders from the president, the “extant authorisations and delegations of presidential authority with respect to these matters”, without addressing the specific story.
In late February, the US destroyed a facility in Syria allegedly used by an Iran-allied militia group, which marked Biden’s first known use of military force in his presidency.
The move came as a shock to Congress, with a large and bipartisan combination of members publicly bemoaning the fact they were not given any advance warning.
Biden said the attack was intended to deter a Shiite militia group from attacking US troops inside Iraq.
“I directed this military action consistent with my responsibility to protect US citizens both at home and abroad and in furtherance of US national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct US foreign relations and as commander in chief,” he wrote in his letter to Congress informing them of the strike.
In response to that bombing, Senator Tim Kaine reintroduced his war powers resolution to curb the commander in chief’s ability to declare war or take military action without congressional approval.
The resolution passed in the last Congress but was vetoed by then-president Donald Trump.