On the eve of the 19th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, the head of Central Command told Military Times that the US troop presence in the country will likely continue for years to come.
The US invasion of Iraq started with airstrikes on March 19, 2003, and ground troops entered the country the following day. The initial “shock and awe” phase of the invasion lasted about six weeks and killed tens of thousands. According to the Iraq Body Count, about 7,400 Iraqi civilians were killed in this period.
All US troops withdrew from Iraq in 2011 but returned to the country in 2014 to fight ISIS, a group that wouldn’t exist if not for the invasion and US intervention in Syria. Today, the US currently has about 2,500 troops in Iraq. At the end of 2021, the US formally changed its presence in Iraq from a combat role to an advisory one, but no troops were withdrawn.
“As we look into the future, any force level adjustment in Iraq is going to be made as a result of consultations with the government of Iraq,” CENTCOM chief Gen. Frank McKenzie said. “And we just finished a strategic dialogue a few months ago — we believe that will continue.”
While the US troops are in Iraq training the current government to fight ISIS, there are many factions in the country opposed to the US presence, including Iraq’s Shia militias. Most of the militias fall under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a group that was formed in 2014 to fight ISIS.
In January 2020, the US killed PMF leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis alongside Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani with a drone strike in Baghdad. The assassinations enraged many in Iraq, and the country’s parliament voted to expel the US forces, but they stayed, and rocket attacks on US bases increased.
Formally ending the combat mission was an attempt to placate those opposed to the US presence. But at the beginning of 2022, when it became apparent the US wasn’t leaving, attacks on bases housing US troops spiked again, highlighting the danger of the continued presence.
One reason the US doesn’t want to leave Iraq is that its bases in the country support the US occupation of eastern Syria. The US currently has about 900 troops in Syria where it backs the Kurdish-led SDF. On paper, the US presence is about fighting ISIS, but it is also part of Washington’s broader campaign against Damascus.
The US maintains crippling sanctions on Syria that aim to prevent the country from rebuilding. The US also occupies the area where most of the country’s oil fields are, keeping the vital resource out of the hands of Damascus. Last year, Biden administration officials said that they had no plans to end the troop presence in Syria.
33 thoughts on “CENTCOM: US Troops Will Likely Be in Iraq for Years to Come”
They will be there until the empire falls. They have the Kurt’s to host them indefinitely regardless of what the central government wants
You dipshits are getting good at evacuating embassies. You should keep practicing that.
GTFO usa and return back across the Rubicon
where you belong
where you started this aggressive nightmare with the indians,remember?
US still in the red over the war. Oil money used to feed everyone
How interesting that the “world” ie the international community as seen by the civilized few (see the map the Chinese have presented-shown on Andrei Martyanov’s blog!) has been shocked by the illegal invasion -unprecedented-by Russia last month on a free, sovereign, independent nation, so that another round of punishment can be piled onto the 5000 sanctions already in place.
Read this article and tell me how “bad” Russia is.
But…but…Wars, the Ukrainians are civilized! They have blonde hair and blue eyes! (You know, like Ahed Tamimi).
And they drive cars like us and watch Netflix!
What’s bad and especially missing from antiwar.com, are articles calling out the folly of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s war of choice, and Russia’s attempt to change the the government of Ukraine.
However it remains to be seen whether Russia is powerful enough to maintain their own troops in Ukraine for years to come, much less their own government for years to come.
Excuse me, js, but were you born yesterday and failed to educate yourself on how this war was incited and could have been avoided in its entirety but for Amerikkka, the EU and the UK?
Ah, btw, it was Amerikkka who saw to it that Ukraine’s government was in actuality changed. And now we have a clown named Zelensky still calling for a no-fly zone, no matter that it would cause the incineration of life as we know it.
Yes, it was Ukraine who invaded Russia. They crossed the border into Russia and have been bombing Moscow non stop.
I wasn’t giving Russia a pass. My comment was about the US government’s attempt to make Russia’s actions as something that shouldn’t be tolerated while being on year 19 in Iraq. That after ending 20 years in Afghanistan. Pot calling Kettle black in the utter extreme.
” The initial “shock and awe” phase of the invasion lasted about six weeks and killed tens of thousands.”
But the media propaganda keeps claiming that Russia is behind schedule in Ukraine with only 4 weeks on the move
The war has basically reached a stale mate.
Utter nonsense. You’ve drunken the MSM Kool-Aid.
Russia is mopping up, and doing so carefully in order to minimize civilian casualties and infrastructure damage.
Haha, in order to minimize civilians. Haha. You are funny bro. You must be a russian troll
He isn’t and neither am I. This war was inevitable and Joe Biden could have prevented it but he is just following the footsteps of previous presidents.
Russia is taking their time, reducing civilian deaths. If Russia had done their little “shock and awe”, Kiev would have been leveled with thousands dead in hours. By feeding Ukraine with more and more weapons, and encouraging other countries to do the same, we are increasing the likelihood that there will be more civilian deaths. Why are we supporting the Azov Battalion and C17? Why in the h*ll are we doing that? Which begs the question, why is Zelenski supporting those groups and why did he release criminals to fight?(how many have high tailed it out of Ukraine). Madness.
“CENTCOM: US Troops Will Likely Be in Iraq for Years to Come”____ Expect more rockets and missiles on US bases in a few days from this announcement….!
Iraq should have handed the US formal notice to lave a long time ago, but has become hooked on US dollars and access to the US for business and education for their connected people.
The Shia are slowly being cultivated like the Sunni were.
Hooked to US dollars?
The embassy we have in Baghdad is a fort, no different in function to those we had during the Western expansion. Iraq has no say in when we leave
An official Iraqi government expulsion of US diplomatic personnel from the US Embassy and closure of the US Embassy would have to be respected by the US, fortress or no.
Iraq has TOS 1A thermobaric missiles.
Its a war crime to use the against civilians, but if the US embassy is a military fort…
The US refused.
Iraq backed down.
To my knowledge, the required formal written note requesting US forces depart, from the official Iraqi government, was never delivered to US forces.
Parliamentary motions don’t count; they aren’t binding nor were made binding on the Iraqi government.
US forces refusing an official Iraqi government request to leave would create a diplomatic incident.
Iraqi militias would take the cue to war and missilefire at the US Embassy and US installations in Iraq would no longer just be harassment.
Yes, the US knows how to swing reluctant leaders over to the US strategy, whereas parliaments are more difficult. Threats work better on one man. It’s called the rules based international order. Works in Ukraine, too.
And it might be helpful now, in the era of our newly discvered horrors of war, civilian victims, and refugees, to have a day to commemorate US civilian victims, refugees and events in all countries since WWII.
Iraq is also a base against Iran, for a war that has hovered just over the US horizon for many years.
Advisors to the Iraq army. Hah. Speak Arabic much? Anyhow, they serve well as targets for Iraqi gunners who detest Americans for all the damage done. Plus it gives the US a chance to squawk about “Iran proxies.”
The US presence is designed to forestall actual Iraqi sovereignty as well as serve as a launch pad against Syria’s Assad, any anti-Zionist militias coming out of Lebanon, as well all threats to Zio-America from Iran. This iron-fisted colonial hegemony fits a pattern. And Israel wouldn’t have it any other way.
Maybe it is time to make Iraq a US state?…
Oh Donna, PLEASE don’t wish that on them!😭
At least let them vote in our elections.
I’m down with that but… They need to pay for the privilege…
Like I said,
You dipshits are getting good at evacuating embassies,
You need to stick with that…
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