CENTCOM Commander Kenneth McKenzie assessed that Iran-backed Iraqi militias “want all U.S. forces to leave, and all U.S. forces are not going to leave… that may provoke a response as we get later into the end of the month”. He further noted that “we’ve drawn down from bases we didn’t need, we’ve made it harder to get at us. But the Iraqis still want us to be there. … So as long as they want it, and we can mutually agree that’s the case – we’re going to be there”. McKenzie went on to assess that “Iran still pursues a vision of ejecting us [from the region]. And they see the principal battleground for that as being Iraq… they are under the view that they can increase friction in Iraq to where we will leave”. He further described Iran’s proliferation of missiles and drones as “very concerning… They show no signs of abating in their research in this field, and their fielding of new and increasingly lethal and capable weapons”.
Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.