US to Install Air Defenses in Iraq, Claiming Iranian Threat

CENTCOM chief cites January missile attack by Iran

CENTCOM commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie told the House Armed Services Committee that the US is in the process of deploying missile defenses into Iraq, preparing to counter any future Iranian missile strikes.

McKenzie cited a January incident in which Iran struck the Ayn al-Asad air base in Iraq. This was retaliation for the US assassinating Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and no further exchanges have happened, since the US hasn’t assassinated any more Iranians. This inevitably raises the quest of if it would be easier to avoid Iranian missiles by not attacking Iran in the first place.

The timing is also curious, as the deployment of new US military assets into Iraq comes as US officials are reviewing all Iraq operations, and cites Iran as a threat even though the Pentagon conceded that Iran is much less of a threat now.

CENTCOM is likely aware that Iran is always a good excuse to send more military assets to anything near Iran. Still, this undercuts other narratives coming out of the Pentagon right now, and it seems to be months after the fact.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.