Gen. McKenzie Says Missile Strikes by Iran and Israel Put US Troops at Risk

Missile strikes by Iran and Israel in Iraq and Syria puts the lives of US forces at risk, US Commander for the Middle East Gen. Frank McKenzie said on Friday, just hours after Iran warned to carry more attacks to target Israeli bases in Iraq.

“Over the past six months Iran has attacked US forces and facilities a number of times, but very good action on the part of commanders on the ground has thwarted any US casualties,” McKenzie told Pentagon reporters.

McKenzie said that Iran’s missile strike close to the consulate was not a direct attack to the US building, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said they have targeted an Israeli spy center “Masoud” in Erbil city of Iraq.

IRGC Spokesman Brigadier Gen. Ramezan Sharif on Friday said they will not hesitate to strike other Israeli bases in Iraqi Kurdistan region, terming it as their “natural right” to destroy any base from which any attack is carried out against the security of Iran.

“I think it’s obvious that Israel is going to take steps to defend itself when it’s confronted with Iranian actions. And of course, Iran is dedicated to the destruction of Israel,” McKenzie said.

“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,” McKenzie furthered.

 “My central problem in my three years of command was Iran,” said McKenzie and furthered “there were other problems, other huge problems, but the headquarters as a whole focused on the Iranian problem and everything attendant to that.”

Iran accelerated missile strikes in Iraq after US forces killed Iran’s top general in a drone strike near the Baghdad airport in January 2020. Iran also fired several missiles at al-Asad airbase where US troops were stationed and more than 100 soldiers suffered traumatic brain injuries in the blast.

Moreover, an Iraqi official said that Iranian proxies are believed responsible for an assassination attempt on Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi last year.

Iran was also behind the October drone attack at the military outpost in southern Syria where American troops are based. No US personnel were killed or injured in the attack.


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