U.S. Gen. Allen: Kobane unlikely to fall to ISIS

U.S. Gen. John Allen
U.S. Gen. John Allen

U.S. Gen. John Allen

The man appointed to coordinate the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) says Kurdish Peshmerga fighters will thwart the militant group’s attempts to seize control of the Syrian city of Kobane.

“We don’t think Kobane is about to fall in the hands of ISIS, the entrance of Peshmerga fighters will prevent that,” John Allen, the retired U.S. general tasked by President Barack Obama with overseeing the anti-ISIS campaign, told Al Arabiya News Channel’s Rima Maktabi in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

More than 150 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters crossed the border to Turkey on Tuesday, heading for Syria to support their Syrian Kurdish brethren in their fight against ISIS in Kobane.

The fighters will be battling ISIS on the ground, as the international coalition carries out air strikes targeting the militants.

There are concerns that ISIS, the extremist group that seized swathes of land in Iraq and Syria, is nearing the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said American, British and Iranian advisors were helping his country’s security forces against the militant group.

Despite the rivalry between the United States and Iran, Gen. Allen did not reject Iran playing role in Iraq to counter the ISIS threat in that country.

“Iran has a role to play in Iraq and we welcome any positive steps taken by it,” he said.

However, he said that the coalition has not decided yet on whether to arm Iraqi tribes, which have joined the fight against ISIS.

“There is no decision regarding arming Iraqi tribes so far.”

Commenting on the Syrian conflict, Allen stressed that “the future of Syria will not be with Assad.”

 
 
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