reuters/Obama envoy sees long road ahead in war with Islamic State

SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)-The U.S. envoy charged by President Barack Obama with building a coalition to fight the militant group Islamic State warned on Friday that the war against the jihadists was in its early stages.

“The fight will not be easy. There will be ebb and flow on the battlefield,” retired General John Allen told reporters during a visit to Baghdad. “This will take time and requires patience.”

The Islamic State has seized large chunks of territory in Iraq since June, when the Iraqi military collapsed as the militants took northern Iraq’s biggest city, Mosul, and then charged through the Tigris River valley.

The jihadists also control much of eastern Syria, which is embroiled in a three-year-old civil war, and have erased much of the border between the neighboring countries as it pursues its goal of creating a caliphate.

Allen cautioned that launching a campaign to take Mosul was not on the immediate horizon.

“It will kick off within a year. I can’t be more specific. It’s not a single battle. It’s a campaign,” Allen said.

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