18-10-2019 05:22 PM Jerusalem Timing

Dempsey in Baghdad, Says US Still Has “Significant Iraq Role”

Dempsey in Baghdad, Says US Still Has “Significant Iraq Role”

Top US military officer General Martin Dempsey arrived in Baghdad on Tuesday, saying his country still had significant role in Iraq.

Top US military officer General Martin Dempsey arrived in Baghdad on Tuesday, saying his country still had significant role in Iraq.dempsey

Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview with AFP that the United States still had a role in Iraq, but under much different circumstances.

"We still retain significant investment and significant influence. But now it's on the basis of a partnership and not on the basis of ownership," Dempsey, who served in Iraq as a commander during the war, told AFP before landing in Baghdad.

Dempsey, who is due to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Iraqi army chief of staff Lieutenant General Babaker Zebari, is the highest-ranking American to visit Iraq since the December 2011 pullout.

The US, which at one point had nearly 170,000 troops stationed in Iraq in the years following the 2003 invasion, now has fewer than 200 soldiers in the country under the authority of the US embassy, charged with helping train Iraqi forces on new military equipment.

Before the US pullout, Washington tried hard to convince Baghdad to grant immunity to the remaining US soldiers in the country. However Iraqi officials, on top al-Maliki, insisted on not doing so.