March 13, 2020 / 1:33 PM / 15 days ago

U.S. says threat from Iran still high after U.S. retaliatory strikes in Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The threat from Iran is still high, even after the United States carried out retaliatory strikes against Iran-backed militia in Iraq blamed for killing U.S. and British forces in a rocket attack this week, a top U.S. general said on Friday.

Marine General Kenneth McKenzie, head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, said he believed the U.S. retaliatory strikes against five weapons storage facilities in Iraq would deter “future strikes of this nature.”

But he did not suggest any easing of the risk from Iran and Iran-backed groups in the days following January’s state-on-state exchanges, which saw the United States kill a top Iranian general and Iran’s missile strikes in Iraq cause brain injuries in more than 100 U.S. troops.

“I think the threat remains very high. I think the tensions have actually not gone down,” McKenzie told a Pentagon news briefing.

Reporting by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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