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

Sputnik News

21:46 11.06.2015(updated 21:54 11.06.2015)

Washington has no immediate plans to open new military bases in Iraq, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said.

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."

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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