US soldiers along with coalition forces will “most likely stay” in Iraq, even after the Islamic State is totally defeated, the top US commander in Iraq stated this week. His comments came just one day after Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi officially declared Mosul liberated. Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, was retaken after an eight-month operation mounted by Iraqi government troops, the US-led coalition, and Peshmerga fighters.
“The Iraqi government has expressed an interest in having the US forces and coalition forces remain after the defeat of ISIS. Our government is equally interested in that,” US-led coalition commander General Stephen Townsend said, adding that other coalition members may join the mission as it’s “still in the decision-making stages.” Troop levels aren’t going to be changed either in the near future, according to the general. “So this fight is far from over.
So I wouldn’t expect to see any significant change in our troop levels in the immediate future, because there’s still hard work to be done,” he said. However, the commander said that “a future footprint would be smaller and probably use a subset of the bases that we have today.”
Published by: The War Files