Retired Marine Gen. John Allen will coordinate the broad international effort to battle the Islamic State militants, as the campaign against the extremist group ramps up and nations begin to determine what role each will play, U.S. officials said Thursday.
Allen, who has been serving as a security adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry, is expected to work with the nearly 40 nations around the world who have agreed to join the fight and help them coordinate what each will contribute, several officials told The Associated Press.
The officials spoke about Allen's expected appointment on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter ahead of an announcement.
Allen comes to the job with vast experience coordinating international allies on the warfront. He served as deputy commander in Iraq's Anbar province from 2006 to 2008, working with Arab partners on organizing the Sunni uprising against al-Qaida. He moved from there to serve for two years as the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees military troops and operations in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.