US interest is to protect Kurds from Iranian threats: US General

The General reaffirmed that the Kurdistan Region must be provided with air defense systems.
Brigadier General Ernest C. Audino, Senior Military Fellow at the Gold Institute for International Strategy, speaks to Kurdistan 24, June 25, 2023. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
Brigadier General Ernest C. Audino, Senior Military Fellow at the Gold Institute for International Strategy, speaks to Kurdistan 24, June 25, 2023. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – US Brigadier General Ernest C. Audino, Senior Military Fellow at the Gold Institute for International Strategy, on Sunday spoke to Kurdistan 24, in which he stressed US support for the Kurdistan Region.

The General reaffirmed that the Kurdistan Region must be provided with air defense systems.

“The Kurds have been great partners but right now they’re under constant threat from elements operating out of Tehran and or motivated by Tehran,” he said.

Audino explained that 60% of southern Iraq has been co-opted by Iranian interests.

“Most of the ministries in the Iraqi government are now under the influence of Iranian proxies. The Iraqi Supreme Court right now has been influenced by Iranian interests,” he added and noted, “Tehran is operating to constrain the Kurdistan Region by every possible means: diplomatically, militarily, and economically.”

Moreover, he stressed that it is in the interest of the US to help and protect the Kurds from Iranian threats.

On Friday, retired US Army Col. Myles B. Caggins III, a former spokesman for the US-led Coalition in Iraq and a current senior fellow at the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, told Kurdistan 24 that the United States is looking to protect the Kurdistan Region from foreign air attacks by providing air defense systems.

Read More: US considering air defense systems for Kurdistan Region: former Coalition spox

As of March 20, 2023, there remain 2,500 US troops in Iraq despite the US combat mission having ended on Dec. 9, 2021. 

These soldiers are mainly located at Al Asad Air Base, Camp Victory, and Al-Harir Air Base.