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US Has ‘No Specific’ Plans to Build More Military Bases in Iraq

© AFP 2022 / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE An American military trainer instructs an Iraqi soldier during an exercise on approaching and clearing buildings at the Taji base complex, which hosts Iraqi and US troops and is located north of the capital Baghdad, on January 7, 2015
An American military trainer instructs an Iraqi soldier during an exercise on approaching and clearing buildings at the Taji base complex, which hosts Iraqi and US troops and is located north of the capital Baghdad, on January 7, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Washington has no immediate plans to open new military bases in Iraq, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said.

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter carries his weapon walks onto his base, where two flags of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are seen on a building, right, and water tower, left, at the front line with the al-Qaida-inspired militants in Tuz Khormato, 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of the oil rich province of Kirkuk, northern Iraq. - Sputnik International
US Considering Building More Military Bases in Iraq to Counter ISIL
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States is not actively considering building additional military bases in Iraq amid reports that the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Gen. Martin Dempsey had stated the country was considering such a move, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said during a press briefing on Thursday.

"There are no immediate or specific plans to do that,” Earnest said when asked whether President Barack Obama had any plans to open more military bases in Iraq.

On Thursday, Dempsey told reporters in Italy the United States had plans to open additional military bases in Iraq. Dempsey added that a future campaign is possible in order to establish "lily pads" — facilities used by US military instructors to train local forces.

Earnest stated the possibility of opening more military bases in Iraq would not “necessarily” require the “additional deployment of American military personnel.”

President Barack Obama - Sputnik International
US Troops Likely to Remain in Iraq After Obama’s Presidency - White House
He also said if President Obama’s national security team recommended opening military bases in Iraq, it would reflect the fact that United States’ “ongoing training efforts have been useful.”

“That the reason we would consider expanding the training operation and the advise and assist operation that's underway would be because it’s been an effective element of our strategy,” Earnest added.

Dempsey’s remarks came a day after President Obama approved sending up to 450 additional military personnel to train local Iraqi servicemen. As many as 3,000 US troops are currently in Iraq.

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