The head of US Central Command admits he’s worried about losing troops after Iran and Israel traded missile strikes
FILE PHOTO. © AP / Mark Humphrey
No Americans were killed in a recent Iranian missile strike in northern Iraq, but the top US general in the Middle East said Friday he was concerned how long that will remain the case as Tehran and Tel Aviv keep targeting each other.
“I do worry about these exchanges between Iran and Israel, because many times our forces are at risk, whether in Iraq or in Syria. So that, in fact, does concern me,” Marine General Frank McKenzie told reporters at the Pentagon.
McKenzie has spent almost four years in charge of the US Central Command, overseeing last August’s pullout from Afghanistan as well as drone strikes and raids targeting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists in Syria and Iraq. He expected Friday to be his final press briefing, with Army General Erik Kurilla due to take over command soon.
“My central problem in my three years of command was Iran,” said McKenzie, noting that there were “other huge problems” as well, but the CENTCOM headquarters mainly “focused on the Iranian problem and everything attendant to that.”