CENTCOM Commander Kenneth McKenzie underlined that “we were in Iraq at the request of the government of Iraq… And we’re there to continue the fight against ISIS, along with many coalition partners who are there with us. That fight is not yet completed, although we’re pleased to see that the Iraqi Security Forces have now moved into the lead”. “Our mission has… shifted from a mission of direct combat to one of more support for them, training, advising, assisting, often at a very high level”, he added, while noting: “Our future in Iraq will be determined by negotiations and consultation with the government of Iraq going forward. But I don’t believe we're going to be leaving Iraq”. McKenzie further assessed that “the government of Iraq has been very aggressive and very proactive in taking measures to defend us at the various bases that we are located in inside Iraq… They are not always successful. And the Iranian proxy groups that operate inside Iraq are, in fact, a direct threat ultimately to the sovereignty of Iraq. Even as they threaten us, so do they threaten the government of Iraq”.
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