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Immediate Release

Statement on Hill Briefing

Jan. 3, 2020

Statement attributed to Ms. Alyssa Farah, Pentagon Press Secretary 

"Today, Ms. Katie Wheelbarger, performing the duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, along with senior representatives from the Department of State and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, briefed bipartisan Senate leadership, provided to all Senate offices, and House leadership and national security committees. The brief included recent threats and attacks on U.S. personnel and interests, including the 11 attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq since Oct. and attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Dec. 27.

The briefing highlighted the recent decisive defensive actions taken to protect U.S. personnel abroad, including the strikes against Iran-backed Kata'ib Hizballah (KH) on Dec. 29, and the elimination of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force (IRGC-QF) commander Qasem Soleimani on Jan. 2. These strikes offer the regime in Iran an opportunity to turn from its terrorist past and cease its unlawful, aggressive escalatory attacks.

Briefers also emphasized that we do not seek escalation with Iran, and have taken appropriate measures to ensure the safety and security of U.S. citizens, forces, partners and interests in the region. They also reinforced our commitment to allies and partners in the region."