Ryan Visits Iraq as Part of Middle East Trip

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan traveled to Iraq last week during his trip across the Middle East as part of his work on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, his office announced Sunday.

Ryan, D-13 Ohio, met with U.S. and Iraqi military commanders as well as the commander of the Combined Joint Task Force in Iraq, the leader of the U.S. Special Forces Operations, the ambassador to Iraq and Sunni tribal leaders. He also visited several military sites on the front lines of the U.S. led battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria , or ISIS.

“ISIS is a global threat to all civilized nations. They want to kill Americans and Westerners.  We’ve seen this global threat play out in Paris, Brussels and San Bernadino,” Ryan said in a statement. “Many of these killers come out of Iraq and Syria, which I why I wanted to go to the front lines of this war and see exactly what we need to do to destroy them there before they come here.”

While ISIS is “on the run in Iraq, we must put together a global strategy that will include many nations, some of them Muslim, to destroy and defund their network,” he continued. “This will not be easy, but America must lead the way because if this responsibility is left to others it simply will not get done.”

Ryan’s Middle East trip last week also took him to Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Naval Station Rota in Spain.

In Israel, Ryan met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and visited several military sites to get an update on the country’s missile defense systems and joint missile defense efforts with the United States. Ryan also met with Israel Defense Force soldiers and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro.

In the U.A.E., Ryan met with U.S. and Emirati defense leaders and visited military sites focused on missile defense. In Bahrain, he met with U.S. Navy leadership and service members to discuss regional threats that impact stability in the Middle East and U.S. national security.

In Spain, Ryan toured Naval Station Rota and boarded a U.S. Navy Aegis-class destroyer to observe its missile defense capabilities firsthand.

SOURCE: Office of U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan.

Pictured: Ryan with the congressional delegation meeting U.A.E. Assistant Undersecretary for Policy and Strategic Affairs, Matar Salem Ali Al Dhaheri.

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