Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin failed to notify Congress of a deadly Iranian-backed militia’s drone attack on US forces in Syria last week — even though senators were taking votes on a key bill dealing with military force in the region, Republican lawmakers charged Tuesday.
Roughly 13 hours passed before Congress was informed Thursday evening that a US contractor had been killed and five troops had been injured in an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps drone attack on American forces in Syria and that the US had later killed 19 IRGC fighters in retaliatory strikes.
“That very day, the Senate was considering several significant votes relating to the use of force against Iran, and yet no member of the Senate, to my knowledge, was told that day about an attack by this very adversary while we were voting on issues involving them,” Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) told Austin during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
The Senate has been working for several days on a bill repealing the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq, which would further reduce America’s footprint in the Middle East following the August 2021 US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Explaining the delay, Austin said the Pentagon decided to wait to notify Congress until after US forces could complete the counterattack due to time constraints.
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