The head of the US forces in the Middle East on December 20 warned that the United States is “prepared to react” if Tehran launches an attack to mark the first anniversary of the killing of the Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. While speaking to journalists in an interview, General Kenneth McKenzie, who heads the US Central Command (Centcom), said that the US is prepared to defend itself, its friends and partners in the region. He also added that according to his assessment, the US is in a “very good position” and “prepared for anything”.

 The US General said that he had recently visited Baghdad, where he met with the head of the anti-jihadist coalition, American General Paul Calvert and Iraqi army chief of staff General Abdul Amir Yarallah the Centcom commander said that he had also gone to Syria to meet with American forces deployed in the small southern base at Al-Tanf, near the border with Joran and Iraq. Further, he informed that he was also touring the region weeks before the anniversary of the January 3, 2020 killing of Soleimani by a US drone strike near the Baghdad airport.