The US Justice Department has released a new opinion on the missile strikes that were orchestrated by the American military in Syria. Attorneys from the department have argued that the hostilities in the Syrian republic did not rise to the levels of an international conflict in a constitutional sense. The memo that is 22-pages long from the Office of Legal Counsel, has stated that President Donald Trump acted within the constraints of his legal authority as the commander-in-chief. The memo continues to say that the president acted in protection of US national interest abroad.
These interests include the prevention of a humanitarian catastrophe in the Middle East and to stop the manufacture, distribution and use of biological and chemical weapons. However, the critics of the Trump administration said that the acts by President were alarming and ludicrous. Some of the members of Congress from the Democratic Party have said that it’s funny how Donald Trump redefined war to get around the halls of Washington. Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia said that the president’s acts were uncalled for and ill-advised. Kaine argued that any act by a foreign nation firing missiles and bombs on American soil would certainly be taken as an act of war. 105 missiles were fired by French, British and American forces on three chemical weapon facilities in Syria.
The missile attacks were carried out on April 14. These missile attacks represented the second time that the West has carried out such strikes on Syria since President Trump took the reins of power. The Justice Department had advised the White House that such attacks would be legal long before President Trump gave the go ahead. The formal opinion by the DOJ was released on Friday and explained the legality of the air strikes by US forces in Syria. The US constitution is very clear that only the US Congress has the power to declare war against another country.
However, the memo by the Justice Department stipulated that the airstrikes were not an act of war against Syria. One of the considerations that have been explained in the memo is that no manned aircraft or ground troops were ordered into Syrian soil or airspace. The opinion also argued that the strikes were not a case where the US military personnel served an open-ended goal. The opinion was authored by Steven Engel who is the US Assistant Attorney General. Engel says that the airstrikes were orchestrated to minimize the number of casualties.