Biden nominates Iraq veteran to head US operations in the Middle East

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President Joe Biden is nominating Army Lt. Gen. Michael Kurilla to lead the US Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, the Pentagon announced Friday.

If confirmed by the Senate, General Kurilla will succeed Marine General Kenneth McKenzie at the head of Centcom, which oversees military operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen.

According to his official biography, Kurilla, 55, currently leads the 18th Airborne Corps, which groups the majority of the United States Army’s response forces at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

A West Point graduate, he fought in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, where he was seriously wounded by gunshot during an assault on Mosul in 2005. Kurilla also held responsibilities at the General Staff of the United States Army and commanded the prestigious 82nd Parachute Division, known for having participated in the Normandy landings in 1944.

The US army is organized in geographic commands like Africom for Africa or Eucom for Europe, but also by issues like the strategic command (Stratcom), in charge of the nuclear armament of the country, or Spacecom, which is in charge of space.

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