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US general: As US scales back in Mideast, China may step in

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — As the United States scales back its military presence across the Middle East to focus on great power competition with China and Russia, it risks giving those two countries a chance to fill the gap and expand their influence around the Gulf, the top U.S. commander for the region said Sunday.

While traveling through the Middle East over the past week, Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, who heads U.S. Central Command, fielded a persistent question from the military and political leaders he met: Is the U.S. still committed to their country and the region, and what more support can they get.

From the dusty battlefields in Syria to the rocket-pummeled neighborhoods in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, they worry that . . .

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