Gen. Kenneth Mackenzie: We remain in Syria and Iraq

US General Kenneth McKenzie referred to the continued long-term presence of US and NATO forces to counter Iranian influence in Iraq and Syria, speaking of the possibility of reducing some forces, but he stressed America's survival in Iraq and Syria.

The top US military commander in the Middle East added, on Wednesday, that US troop levels in Iraq and Syria will likely decrease in the coming months, but he has not yet received orders to begin withdrawing forces. General Kenneth McKenzie, the head of the Pentagon's Central Command, said that 5,200 troops are in Iraq to help fight ISIS remnants and train Iraqi forces, but that they will be "adjusted" after consultations with the government in Baghdad, according to the New York Times.

General McKenzie indicated that he expects US and other NATO forces to maintain a "long-term presence" in Iraq, to ​​help fight "extremists" and to stop Iranian influence in the country. He refused to disclose the number of this presence, but other US officials said that discussions with Iraqi officials that resume this month may lead to reducing the number of US forces to about 3,500 soldiers.



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