Ilhan Omar Calls Sending U.S. Weapons to Ukraine 'Likely Disastrous'

Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar on Tuesday warned about sending U.S. military assistance to Ukraine, calling it "unpredictable and likely disastrous."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday that Congress is working on a $12 billion aid package for Ukraine as a response to the Russian invasion, which includes financial assistance for refugees, medical supplies and weapons transfers to Ukraine. A senior defense official said last week that the U.S. has already given more than $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine in the past year.

Omar, a Democrat known for championing progressive ideals, cautioned against such plans of sending Ukraine more weapons in a Tuesday message posted on Twitter.

"The consequences of flooding Ukraine with billion dollars in [American] weapons, likely not limited to just military-specific equipment but also including small arms + ammo, are unpredictable & likely disastrous," she wrote, adding a claim that such donations "are given to paramilitary groups w/out accountability."

A Twitter user questioned the representative about what she supported instead of sending weapons to Ukraine, writing it's "[e]asy to criticize and question. Hard to lead."

The message elicited a quick response from Omar.

"I support giving Ukraine the resources it needs to defend its people, I just have legitimate concerns about the size and scope," she wrote. "Btw, criticizing and questioning is my job as a leader and a member of Congress. It's the hardest part of the job, trust me it's easy to just follow."

Omar is part of a left-wing group of Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives dubbed the "Squad" by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Along with Omar and Ocasio-Cortez, the rest of the group is comprised of Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts), Rashida Tlaib (Michigan), Jamaal Bowman (New York) and Cori Bush (Missouri).

In a story published Tuesday in Politico, Ocasio-Cortez said whether or not she will support the $12 billion package depends on the details of the final proposed bill.

"I do support military aid to Ukraine," she told the website. "I think that's the thing. We never support the defense budget."

Along with her message on Tuesday, Omar has spoken out before against sending weapons to Ukraine. In a statement last month, she echoed some of her recent tweet's language in a warning about military assistance.

"The consequences of flooding Ukraine with half a billion dollars in American weapons, likely not limited to just military-specific equipment but also including small arms and ammo, are unpredictable and likely disastrous," Omar said in the statement released on February 2.

Newsweek contacted Omar for further comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

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Ilhan Omar
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Tuesday expressed concern about sending more weapons to Ukraine. In this photo, Omar is seen on the Pathway To Peace Policy panel on February 12, 2020, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Getty