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Statement from Chairman Menendez on U.S. Airstrikes Targeting Iran-Backed Militias

Jersey City, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after U.S. military forces carried out a round of airstrikes on Sunday targeting Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria:

“The United States must always take decisive action to protect our personnel and interests against attacks. I will be seeking more information from the Administration in the coming days regarding what specifically predicated these strikes, any imminent threats they believed they were acting against, and more details on the legal authority the Administration relied upon. Congress has the power to authorize the use of military force and declarations of war, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is planning to hear from the Administration more on these strikes as well as have a broader discussion on the 2002 AUMF when we return to Washington, D.C.

“Over the past year, Iranian-backed militia groups have increasingly targeted U.S. persons and assets, including killing Americans and coalition forces earlier this year and hitting close to the new U.S. Consulate site in Erbil over this weekend. The United States must continue to work with Iraqi Prime Minister Khadimi through the framework of the U.S.-Iraqi strategic dialogue in support of a stable, inclusive and independent Iraq. Moreover, I continue to urge the Administration to implement a comprehensive strategy towards Iran that addresses all its dangerous behavior, including ongoing attacks against the United States in Iraq and actions that undermine the Iraqi government.”