U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Ash Carter said yesterday that the American military -- along with its international partners -- will need to remain in Iraq even after the expected defeat of the Islamic State (IS) group, the Times of Israel website reports today (December 4, 2016).
Carter said the U.S. and its coalition partners must not stop after completing the current campaign to expel IS from Mosul. He added the militants are on a path to lasting defeat.
"We'll need to continue to counter foreign fighters trying to escape and ISIL's attempts to relocate or reinvent itself. To do so, not only the United States but our coalition must endure and remain engaged militarily," he said.
Carter did not say how long this continued U.S. military presence might be necessary or how many troops would be required. At any rate, those decisions are likely to fall to the Trump administration after it takes office in January.