Illinois Senator Duckworth visits Iraq for first time since she was shot down in 2004


Source: Office of Tammy Duckworth

U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Angus King (I-Maine) meet with troops in Iraq. Duckworth led a bipartisan congressional delegation on a trip to the country last week.

Kristina Karisch, Print Managing Editor

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) led a bipartisan congressional delegation to Iraq last week to meet with Iraqi officials and receive operational and intelligence updates from American diplomats and military commanders in the region.

Duckworth, along with U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Angus King (I-Maine), traveled to the cities of Baghdad, Taji and Erbil, and paid visits to troops deployed across the country. The three senators also met with Kurdish leaders to “reiterate the importance of our nation’s alliance with our Kurdish partners who fought alongside American forces against ISIS,” according to a news release from Duckworth’s office. She has publicly urged President Donald Trump to protect Kurds in the region, following the president’s announcement that he would order a withdrawal of troops from Syria earlier this year.

For Duckworth — a combat veteran who reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during her time in the Army — it was the first time returning to Iraq since she was shot down in 2004 while flying a Blackhawk helicopter during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“Fifteen years ago, I deployed to Iraq as an American Soldier to fly helicopter missions,” Duckworth said of the trip. “This week, I returned in a role I never expected: as a United States Senator leading a bipartisan delegation to show our support for the people of Iraq and express our hope that Iraq will be an independent, strong country and a close ally of the United States for many years to come.”

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