CM – Biden-Admin’s drone strike in Somalia draws fire from Sanders, Lee and Murphy

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A trio of senators, including Bernie Sanders of Vermont, issued a statement late Thursday condemning the U.S. military’s drone strike in Somalia earlier this week, the first known bomb attack on the East African country since taking office by President Joe Biden in January.

« We are concerned that no one in government has sought the necessary legal approval from Congress for Tuesday’s drone strike in Somalia, particularly without putting American forces at risk – and apparently not once checked with our commander in chief, « said Sanders, an independent, said in a joint statement with Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).

 » We need a system of controls and restore balances in our national security to make Congress a part of these decisions about war and peace and the interests of America the Anian people, ”said the three senators, who unveiled laws earlier this week aimed at restoring the authority of Congress over the warring forces. « It is time to get rid of the questionable legal justifications that are being used by government after government for such acts of war. »

The drone strike in Somalia was carried out by the US military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM), which is part of An email statement to the media alleged the attack was aimed at al-Shabab militants who allegedly attacked members of a US-trained Somali commando force.

The Biden government – which, like its predecessors, was accused of Drastically underestimating civilian deaths in US military operations – said no civilians were injured or killed in the recent air strike. The transparency organization Airwars estimates that US military actions have killed between 70 and 143 civilians in Somalia since 2007 when the Bush administration launched a bombing campaign that was accelerated under Obama and continued under Trump.

According to Somali state media, the recent US attack killed at least 20 al-Shabab fighters and injured « many » others.

While there were no US forces accompanying the Somali commando when it was allegedly attacked on Tuesday, Pentagon spokeswoman Cindi justified King launched the drone attack as « collective self-defense » – a rationale that legal experts have scrutinized.

« I’m surprised Biden’s first strike in Somalia doesn’t get more attention, » said Oona Hathaway, professor of international law at Yale University. « AFRICOM carried out the attack on al-Shabaab fighters and the government cites ‘collective self-defense’. It’s very puzzling. « 

 » Collective self-defense is a term under international law, « said Hathaway. “According to Article 51 of the UN Charter, a state can take measures for the“ collective self-defense ”of another state. However, this only applies if the action could otherwise violate Article 2 (4). But that’s not the case here … So what’s going on? Is this somehow to circumvent new restrictions on drone strikes? « 

On its first day in power, the Biden government tacitly imposed temporary restrictions on so-called anti-terror strikes outside of » conventional war zones « . As the New York Times reported in March, the government order required the military and the CIA to « seek White House permission to attack terrorist suspects » in countries where there are few US ground forces, including Somalia / p> But the Pentagon insists that AFRICOM did not need White House approval for the recent drone attack because the military « has the authority to carry out attacks in support of … designated partner forces in collective self-defense ».

Like Stars and Stripes reported Tuesday that the last previous drone strikes in Somalia « were carried out on January 18-19, just days after the US military completed its withdrawal of around 700 soldiers from the country under Trump’s orders ».

According to the Times, the Pentagon is “developing a proposal to send dozens of special forces trainers back to Somalia to help local forces fight them g of al-Shabab ”.

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Biden Admin& # 39; s drone attack in Somalia ignites Sanders, Lee and Murphy

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