Former CENTCOM Commander: Praises Kurdish Support for Fight against ISIS—but ISIS Remains a ‘Very Real Threat’

“The fight has continued against ISIS, and our Kurdish friends have been very effective," he said, "and we very much appreciate that.”
Gen. Frank McKenzie (US Marine Corps, Retired) led CENTCOM from March 2019 to April 2022. (Photo: Kurdistan24)
Gen. Frank McKenzie (US Marine Corps, Retired) led CENTCOM from March 2019 to April 2022. (Photo: Kurdistan24)

WASHINGTON DC, United States (Kurdistan 24) – Gen. Frank McKenzie (US Marine Corps, Retired) led CENTCOM from March 2019 to April 2022. On Thursday, he addressed a Washington audience about his new book, “The Melting Point: High Command and War in the 21st Century.” 

Afterwards, McKenzie spoke with Kurdistan 24. He emphasized three points. One was the invaluable support that Kurdish fighters have provided for the war against ISIS. A second was that ISIS remained a significant threat, and the third was that continued U.S. engagement in the Middle East remains both welcome and necessary. 

“The fight has continued against ISIS, and our Kurdish friends have been very effective,” McKenzie said. They “continue to keep pressure on ISIS, even to this day, and we very much appreciate that.”

McKenzie also stressed the importance of continued U.S. engagement in the region. People trust us,” he affirmed.

 “They believe that we act out of the best of instincts and for the good of all,” he explained.. “I  think people want an opportunity to have a relationship with the United States, and I think that’s going to continue.”

And “I think ISIS remains a very real threat to the Middle East, to the region, to Syria, to the United States, and to nations all around the world,” he added.

Some two weeks ago, speaking with the CBS Sunday talk show, “Face the Nation,” McKenzie complained that the Biden administration’s response to the attacks on international shipping by the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen had been “too passive.”

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“We’ve allowed the Houthis really to dominate global maritime communications by closing down, effectively, the Suez Canal,” he said.

“We need to go after the source of the attacks,” he continued, “and the source of the attacks is Houthi leadership and command and control facilities in Yemen.”