CENTCOM Commander Doesn’t Think Iraq Wants US to Leave

Predicts US troops will stay to 'fight ISIS'

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of Central Command, claimed that he believes Iraq wants the US troops to stay in the country, noting that no directive has been made to withdraw.

“The government of Iraq wants us to stay,” McKenzie insisted, “to continue the fight against ISIS.” These claims fly in the face of a lot of evidence to the contrary, as Iraq’s parliament voted unanimously to expel the US troops last year.

Protesters were already agitating about politicians dominated by foreign officials. The US assassination of Gen. Suleimani in Baghdad fueled calls for the US to leave. The US never acknowledged this but now are facing talk of broad strategic negotiations on future US ties.

The expectation from Iraq is that “everything” is on the table, and this is another indication that the US isn’t going in to such talks in good faith, trying to frame the dialogue before it happens to suggest the US is, as ever, “welcomed” in its occupation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.