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

People wave to Kurdish Peshmerga fighters on their way to the Syrian town of Kobani. (Reuters)

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 a 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.

Gen. Allen noted that the Iraqis would be coordinating the arming of Iraqi tribes with U.S. support.

Asked if the United States would be arming the Iraqi tribes, Gen. Allen said: “Well it is up to the Iraqi Security Forces to do that. But we will train them and we will work closely with Iraqi supervisors, material and weapons and ammunition.

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Last Update: Thursday, 30 October 2014 KSA 12:22 - GMT 09:22
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U.S. Gen. Allen: Kobane unlikely to fall to ISIS
“We don’t think Kobane is about to fall in the hands of ISIS, the entrance of Peshmerga fighters will prevent that,” Allen said.
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