BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:32 A.M.) – Pentagon officials has announced that American troops will remain even when ISIS has been defeated, with US Defense Secretary James Mattis stating that troops have to remain to protect America’s “national interest.”
“I believe it’s in our national interest that we keep Iraqi security forces in a position to keep our mutual enemies on their back foot,” he said, as quoted by the Military Times.
He then went onto say that he cannot see a “reason to pull out again and face the same lesson,” adding that the US “needs to remain decisively engaged in Iraq and in the region.”
However, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told US President Donald Trump that there is no reason to keep the defeat of ISIS.
“Certainly, we shouldn’t have left. We should never ever have left,” Trump said as quoted by Newsweek, noting that the withdrawal was followed by chaos.
However, a militia group has warned the United States to leave Iraq after the defeat of ISIS.
Jafar al-Hosseini, a spokesman and senior commander of Iraq’s Kata’ib Hezbollah militia group, has said that it will target US forces after ISIS are defeated if they do not leave Iraq.
“If the US forces refrain from leaving the Iraqi territories after annihilation of the ISIL terrorist group, the Islamic resistance of Iraq will target them,” al-Hosseini told the Islamic republic news agency on Tuesday.