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Syria: A Safe Haven for IS

KOBANI, SYRIA - JANUARY 28: The wreckage left by fighting is seen in the center of the Syrian town of Kobani after it has been freed from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) forces. Esber Ayaydin / Anadolu Agency

KOBANI, SYRIA – JANUARY 28: The wreckage left by fighting is seen in the center of the Syrian town of Kobani after it has been freed from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) forces. Esber Ayaydin / Anadolu Agency

MOSUL, IRAQ - JANUARY 28, 2015: Kurdish Peshmerga forces take security measures against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) north of Mosul, (Emrah Yorulmaz - Anadolu Agency)
MOSUL, IRAQ – JANUARY 28, 2015: Kurdish Peshmerga forces take security measures against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) north of Mosul, (Emrah Yorulmaz – Anadolu Agency)

In early 2015, General John Allen, the US special envoy to the global coalition to counter the Islamic State (IS), said “We are having an impact in Syria; we have struck at IS’s command-and-control nodes, supply lines, fighters and leaders, and military and economic infrastructure and resources in Syria. We have also debilitated IS’s oil producing, processing and transportation infrastructure.”

On 16 January 2015, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said the American military was planning to deploy more than 400 troops to help train Syrian rebels to fight IS. The statement came a few days after a meeting in Istanbul about the training programme between US General Michael Nagata, US Ambassador Daniel Rubinstein, and several Syrian opposition leaders.

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