CENTCOM Commander Kenneth McKenzie met with Iraqi Prime Minister al-Kadhimi and underscored that U.S. “support to the Iraqi Security Forces continues to evolve as they expand their ability to plan and conduct operations independently. Today, we have a relatively small U.S. footprint here – all at the invitation of the Government of Iraq – that is focused on advising, equipping and assisting the ISF”. Speaking with reporters, McKenzie raised concerns over the increasing use of drones by Iranian-backed militias and maintained: “We’re working very hard to find technical fixes that would allow us to be more effective against drones… Still, I don’t think we’re where we want to be”. He further assessed that the militias “believe they can carry out attacks at a fairly low level that won’t provoke a response, yet will create enough friction that will eventually induce us to leave. I think it’s a dangerous situation”.
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