President Joe Biden called off a second airstrike in Syria last month after a woman and multiple children were seen at the target site, The Wall Street Journal reported.
An aide delivered the urgent message to President Joe Biden just 30 minutes prior to the scheduled airstrike on Feb. 26, anonymous senior administration officials told The Wall Street Journal. The president decided to cancel the airstrike, but proceed with the other Syria airstrike, which the Department of Defense (DOD) reported that night.
“We had a pretty coordinated diplomatic and military plan here,” an official told the WSJ. “We made sure the Iranians knew what our intent was.”
The U.S. airstrike targeted a Northern Syria encampment used by Iran-backed militias. The strike was a “defensive precision strike” in retaliation for a Feb. 15 attack on U.S. forces in Iraq that resulted in one death and five injuries, according to the DOD.
“These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel,” DOD said in a statement.
Iran, meanwhile, turned down an offer Sunday from the European Union and U.S. to attend face-to-face talks regarding their nuclear capacity, potentially increasing tensions even further.
Iran recently produced uranium metal in violation of the nuclear agreement, according to a Feb. 10 United Nations report. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned on Feb. 2 that Iran could have the materials to create a nuclear bomb in weeks.