Despite the reduction of the US military presence in Iraq, Baghdad wants US forces to continue to fight against the Islamic State group, the head of the US military command in the Middle East said Thursday.
The continued presence of the US military in Iraq has successfully curtailed the activities of Iran and the Islamic State (IS), Gen. Kenneth McKenzie assured at an online conference of the National Relations Committee. American-Arab.
The Iranian army recently reduced its attacks in the hope that the Iraqi government “asks us to leave Iraq,” the senior official said.
Baghdad has, however, “clearly signaled its desire to maintain its partnership with the United States and the international military coalition to continue our fight against the last elements of IS,” he added.
The Islamic State group still has some 10,000 followers in the Iraq and Syria region, and remains a real threat, according to Kenneth McKenzie.
“The progress of the Iraqi forces has enabled the United States to reduce their troops in Iraq”, but it is for Washington and its allies to prevent by their presence that the IS group does not reform and is able to foment major attacks, he explained.
For the general, the American military presence has also dissuaded Iran from continuing its attacks in the Gulf.
“I think Iran has been largely discouraged because the regime now understands that we have the capabilities and the will to counterattack,” he said.
Realizing a promise made by Donald Trump, Washington announced on Tuesday to reduce the number of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving only 2,500 soldiers in each country by mid-January 2021.