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Senator Lankford Visits Syria and Iraq to Evaluate Anti-Terrorism Efforts

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) has returned to the United States after traveling to Iraq and Syria to evaluate key anti-terrorism intelligence programs and military assets. Lankford traveled abroad during the Memorial Day weekend from May 25 to May 29 with Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC). Due to civil war and instability in the region, Iraq and Syria have both experienced intense fighting between government and extremist groups, like ISIS and al-Qaeda. The Senators met with United States officials and military personnel to gather a current perspective on intelligence and military operations in the war on terrorism, and they conducted site visits to assess efforts with partners in combating terrorism. 

“The past few days of travel in the Middle East were another reminder that the United States of America has the best military and intelligence professionals in the world,” said Lankford. “The time in Iraq and Syria was essential for determining the needs of our men and women in the field and to provide oversight of our intelligence capacity in one of the most dangerous regions in the world for terrorism. As instability and terrorist threats continue to rise, it is important for America to maintain our intelligence information edge. We must work with allies in the region to destroy terrorist groups before they can bring additional terrorist strikes on Americans.”

During the trip, Lankford and Burr conducted site visits and met with American officials and military personnel in Baghdad, Erbil, and Mosul, Iraq. They also visited the structurally deficient Mosul Dam to view American repair efforts by the Army Corps of Engineers to protect millions of Iraqis downstream. They also held meetings at the American Embassy in Baghdad and travelled to Syria to visit with US troops. Lankford also met with Oklahoma National Guardsmen and other Oklahomans currently serving in Iraq and Syria. 

Senator Lankford is the only Senator who serves on both the Intelligence Committee and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. He also sits on the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. As part of his Committee responsibilities, Lankford visited Turkey, Kosovo, and South Korea in December 2016, and Guatemala in August 2016