WASHINGTON — Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC); Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Deputy Chair of the CPC; Greg Casar (TX-35), CPC Whip; and Barbara Lee (CA-12), CPC Chair Emeritus and Peace and Security Task Force Chair issued the following statement on recent developments in the Middle East:

“Since October, we have seen a steady escalation between varied armed actors and U.S. forces throughout the Middle East. These rising tensions culminated in this past weekend’s tragedy, where three U.S. service members were killed and dozens wounded in an Iraq-based militia strike on a U.S. base in Jordan.

“We mourn the loss of these soldiers, as well as the Navy SEALs who were lost earlier this month in a separate Red Sea operation. Since October, 165 attacks have injured more than 120 U.S. service members across the region, and repeated U.S. retaliatory strikes in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq have not deterred these armed groups.

“We are facing the most serious threat of regional war since Donald Trump’s reckless and unauthorized strike against Iranian General Qassem Soleimani four years ago — so it comes as no surprise that congressional Republicans are now irresponsibly pushing direct military confrontation with Iran. For years, these extreme voices have been fixated on closing the door to diplomacy and drawing the United States into direct conflict with Iran.

“The American people have no interest in such a conflict, which would erode our nation’s global standing and irreparably damage our national security. As the people’s representatives in Congress, we take seriously our constitutional responsibility over war, peace, and security and we remind the White House that Congress must be involved in and approve of the offensive use of military force. 

“Now is the time to take concrete actions to decrease tensions that threaten our service members. At this dangerous and unpredictable moment, we call for a renewed focus on de-escalation, diplomacy, and on addressing the root causes that have inflamed the region and provoked attacks on U.S. personnel in recent months.”