A US military commander has indicated that America may maintain its military presence in Iraq even though the Iraqi military has almost entirely eliminated the terrorist group in the Arab country.
Daesh started a lightning offensive in Iraq in 2014, capturing and occupying territory in the course of the campaign. But the Iraqi military and then-volunteer forces soon regrouped, launching a counter-offensive and retaking every major area that had been held by Daesh.
Sine that same year, the US, leading a coalition of countries, has been carrying out aerial operations against what it says are Daesh targets in Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Tuesday that the US had begun drawing down its military presence and that US air power would no longer be needed once Daesh is entirely obliterated.
Yet, on Thursday, Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, the US commander of the US-led coalition, hinted that the US needed to prepare for “long-term”…