Members of Maine’s congressional delegation expressed concern for American troops in the wake of Iranian ballistic missile attacks that targeted two U.S. bases in Iraq on Tuesday.

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, and Reps. Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree also said the they were waiting to learn more about the developments in the Middle East and hope President Trump will take the opportunity to de-escalate tensions in the region following the attacks conducted in retaliation for the U.S. drone strike that killed Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

A U.S. official said there were no immediate reports of American casualties at the two bases, though buildings were still being searched.

King’s spokesman, Matthew Felling, said Maine’s independent senator is monitoring the situation and is waiting for more facts before making any statements about how the United States should proceed. Felling said King was briefed during a classified hearing Tuesday afternoon.

“His hope is that the president will view the apparently limited nature of tonight’s strikes by Iran as an opportunity to pause the recent path of escalation and seek a non-military resolution of this confrontation in the coming days,” Felling said in an email.

Golden, a Democrat representing Maine’s 2nd District, was taking a similar stance, his spokesman, Nick Zeller, said in a statement issued late Tuesday night.

“The situation in Iran and Iraq is complex and changing rapidly,” Zeller said in an email. “Congressman Golden is closely following the developments in the region and will continue to weigh the national security implications as more facts come to light. Tonight his thoughts are with our service members overseas.”

Pingree, a Democrat representing Maine’s 1st District, is hoping cooler heads prevail.

“This is a time to de-escalate tension with Iran. No one wants another war,” Pingree said. “Tonight, I am thinking of our service members and U.S. personnel in Iraq and am praying for their safety.”

Collins, who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee with King, expects to be briefed Wednesday on the latest developments.

“I am deeply concerned about the safety of our troops,” the Republican said in a statement issued Tuesday night. “We always have to defend our service members who are in harm’s way.”

 

 

 

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