Report: Retired Marine Gen. Allen to coordinate allied response to ISIS

The Obama administration has tapped retired Marine Gen. John Allen to coordinate the international effort against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to The Associated Press. 

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Allen will organize the efforts of nearly 40 countries around the world, according to the report. 

Allen had previously served in Iraq as deputy commander in the country’s Anbar province from 2006 to 2008. He also helped to organize a Sunni uprising against al Qaeda.

He last served as the top commander in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2013.

Allen’s selection to coordinate the effort is a step by the U.S. and its allies to ramp up their fight against the Sunni militant group.

President Obama in an address to the nation on Wednesday night outlined a four-part strategy.

The plan would require a systematic campaign of airstrikes, increased support for Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting ISIS on the ground, targeting ISIS's funding and recruitment networks, and expanded humanitarian support for tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq. 

"This is our strategy. And in each of these four parts of our strategy, America will be joined by a broad coalition of partners," Obama said.

"Working with our partners, we will redouble our efforts to cut off its funding, improve our intelligence, strengthen our defenses, counter its warped ideology and stem the flow of foreign fighters into and out of the Middle East," he added.

Updated at 4:39 p.m.