US general sees smaller but enduring troop presence in Iraq

US general sees smaller but enduring troop presence in IraqSix months after a deadly American airstrike in Baghdad enraged Iraqis and fueled demands to send all U.S. troops home, the top U.S. general for the Middle East is talking optimistically about keeping a smaller, but enduring military presence there. Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, met Tuesday with Iraq’s new prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, and said afterward that he believes the Iraqis welcome the U.S. and coalition troops, especially in the ongoing fight to keep Islamic State militants from taking hold of the country again. “I believe that going forward, they’re going to want us to be with them,” McKenzie told a small group of reporters, speaking by phone hours after he left Iraq.

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