Rep. Omar Statement On Air Strikes in Syria

February 26, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement on the U.S. air strikes in Syria. 

“I am deeply concerned about the legal justification of the air strikes in Syria. Military action—in a country where Congress has not authorized war—is unconstitutional in almost all circumstances. 

“The Administration must provide a legal rationale for why these strikes met the high bar for military action without Congressional approval. They must also provide transparency around any civilian casualties that resulted from the strike as soon as possible. These are the same questions we must ask regardless of the Administration. Our Congressional oversight duty does not change depending on who is in the White House.

“The strike is also a reminder that the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force (AUMF) have been used to justify endless wars and violence around the world. They must be repealed.

“Aside from the questions of legality for this particular strike, we must understand this in the greater context of a failed strategy in the region. For years, the Syrian people have suffered from a brutal civil conflict that has metastasized into a proxy war for powers in the region and globally. Our presence in the war has done nothing to end the violence—but has only exacerbated the pain and suffering of the Syrian people. I am eager to hear from the Biden Administration as soon as possible about their strategy to finally end this horrific cycle of violence. This will require significant diplomatic efforts—it simply cannot be solved by military means. We must address the suffering of the Syrian people, and look to legal avenues of justice for crimes committed by Assad, by ISIS, and by the foreign powers who have so callously used Syria as a battleground for their proxy wars. 

“Violence perpetuates violence. When we respond to every military attack with more air strikes, it only exacerbates the conflict. We as a nation should be standing unequivocally for human rights and human dignity. And we should be firmly committed, using all non-violent means at our disposal, to finally ending this nightmare once and for all.”