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After Republicans attacked her for saying she felt the effects of PTSD following military attacks between the US and Iran, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has hit back, reminding critics that she is a survivor of war, having entered the US as a child refugee during a brutal civil war in Somalia.
On Wednesday, she joined progressive Democrats to call for peace, saying that the escalating tensions and attacks between the US and Iran makes her feel "ill a little bit".
She said: "And I think every time I hear about — I hear of conversations around war, I find myself being stricken with PTSD. And I find peace knowing that I serve with great advocates for peace and people who have shown courage against war."
On Twitter, Indiana Republican Jim Banks called the Minnesota Democrat's claim "a disgrace" and "offensive to our nation's veterans who really do have PTSD after putting their life on the line" to defend the US.
Ms Omar responded, saying that she survived war as a child and continues to deal with PTSD "much like many who have served or lived through war. It's shameful that you as a member of Congress would erase the PTSD of survivors."
Mr Banks doubled down on his comments, however, and shared a video of Ms Omar smiling while chatting with Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib during the press conference, which he says "reveal your feelings [towards] our soldiers serving abroad and the video speaks for itself".
The footage was also shared by Georgia Republican Jody Hice, who called it "absolutely shameful".
He said: "Our brave men and women in uniform deserve our utmost respect and applause for their service and sacrifice — not mockery and laughter."
But veterans group Common Defense voiced its support for Ms Omar and called Mr Banks's comments "tremendously ignorant".
The group said: "Veterans like us know that people wearing uniforms aren't the only ones impacted by war. [Ms Omar] is a refugee. We stand with her against hawkish elites like you."
Born in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1981, Ms Omar fled the country at 10 years old as the civil war began in 1991. She lived in a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the US in 1995. She was elected to Congress in 2018, joining Ms Tlaib as the first Muslim women elected to the House.
Right-wing Fox host Laura Ingraham mocked Ms Omar's comments, saying: "Call the medic!"
Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley responded, saying, "8 yrs old. That's how old [Ms Omar] was when she fled for her life as her home was decimated by war. I know you think war's a for profit video game ... but you'd be wise to take a seat and take your cues from folks like Ilhan who actually know what they're talking about."
Ms Omar denounced Donald Trump's plans for additional sanctions against Iran following the country's airstrike on two US bases in Iraq as "economic warfare" that "make no sense" and will continue to drive medical shortages in the country.
She said on Twitter: "You cannot claim to want deescalation and then announce new sanctions with no clear goal. This is not a measured response!"
Ms Omar joined House Democrats to support a resolution that aims to end the mounting war between the president and Iran. She co-sponsored a resolution with California Democrat Barbara Lee to withdraw troops from the region by invoking the War Powers Act.
In a statement, Ms Omar said: "We in Congress must exercise our Constitutional duty and do everything in our power to stop another disastrous war ... Following the assassination [of General Qassem Soleimani on 3 January ], thousands of additional troops were sent to the Middle East in one of the largest rapid deployments seen in decades. This follows years of saber-rattling and threats of war against Iran by President Trump and his accomplices."