Democrats mostly praised President Joe Biden after he announced that US forces carried out a counter-terrorism operation that killed ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi.
Biden made the announcement in the morning, noting how US forces chose to conduct a special forces raid rather than an airstrike to kill Qurayshi. He also pointed out how Qurayshi masterminded the Yazidi genocide in northern Iraq in 2014.
Representative Andy Kim, a Democrat from New Jersey who worked as a national security adviser, said he had been following Qurayshi since he worked in the Obama administration.
“This is a person I have been following for eight years,” he said, adding that the terrorist leader was responsible for sending Yazidi girls into sexual slavery to be raped. “Just for the number of war crimes and atrocities, she has to be at the top of the list in this world right now.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said the independent that he was glad that the leader of Isis was taken off the battlefield.
“I think it posed a real danger to the United States and to Americans around the world, so I congratulate the military on a successful operation and I’m glad all of our service members have returned safely.”
The move comes months after many Democrats and Republicans criticized the administration’s withdrawal from the war in Afghanistan, causing the country to quickly fall to the Taliban. During efforts to evacuate Americans and their allies, an attack left 13 American service members dead. Biden’s approval rating took a significant hit in response.
Now, combined with his stance toward Russia as his president, Vladimir Putin, has amassed troops on the Ukrainian border, Biden has an opportunity to reestablish his political muscle on foreign policy. Biden was long seen as politically credible on foreign policy, as he served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Barack Obama, who had not served a full term in the Senate when he ran for president, selected Biden as his running mate in 2008 largely because of his foreign affairs experience.
Qurayshi succeeded Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as ISIS leader after Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, ordered the latter’s death.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, who will retire after this year, also praised the president’s actions.
“I think it’s good that we have another terrorist leader off the field,” he said. the independent.
Biden said in his speech that Qurayshi chose to blow himself up rather than surrender to US forces and that the blast destroyed the third floor of the building, killing his family. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Defense Department would review the raid. But a reporter asked if there will be evidence that Qurayshi detonated the explosive himself.
“Well, as you know, there is an extensive process that the Department of Defense goes through,” Ms. Psaki said. “The president made it clear from the beginning, at every point in this process, that doing everything possible to prevent civilian casualties was his priority and his preference.”
The United States has not always been forthright about civilian casualties. After the attack in Kabul, the United States initially defended a drone strike, but a subsequent investigation found that the information leading up to the attack and what followed was incorrect and that the strike killed up to 10 civilians.
Following that information about the flawed strike, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota tweeted “Sorry, not enough” and called for accountability.
Initially, Ms. Omar did not commit to a full answer when asked the independent on civilian casualties.
“Can I look into it and get back to you?” she asked. Later, Ms. Omar tweeted a reference to the attack in Afghanistan.
“With all due respect, but this headline is from 4 months ago and comes after weeks of the Pentagon charging reporters who asked for evidence or provided follow-up questions with doing PR for terrorists,” he tweeted. “It is good that these questions are being asked and the WH must be transparent”.
Similarly, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York had no comment.
“I just got out of a classified briefing,” he said. the independentsaying he didn’t want to send a message on the fly.
Murphy said he would ask about civilian casualties in the coming days.
“We want to know exactly what happened in the whole situation and including the victims,” he said.
Kim said he would also investigate civilian casualties.
“I’m always asking about that and then we need to make sure we continue to improve,” he said, noting how the fact that the administration used a ground raid instead of an airstrike showed the care the administration took.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.