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Coalition Chief: Iraqi Ground Offensive Against IS 'Within Weeks'


The U.S. coordinator for the international coalition against the militant group Islamic State (IS) says that Iraqi troops will begin a ground offensive in the coming weeks to take back swaths of the country seized by IS.

General John Allen said in an interview February 8 with Jordan's official Petra news agency, "In the weeks ahead, when the Iraqi forces begin the ground campaign to take back Iraq, the coalition will provide major firepower associated with that."

Allen's statement came as Jordan said it had carried out 56 air raids on IS targets over the last three days, destroying logistics centers, arms depots, and hideouts of IS fighters.

Jordan vowed to "eradicate" IS after the militant group released a video of a captured Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage.

In Munich, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said since coalition strikes started in August, forces on the ground in Syria and Iraq had taken back about 20 percent of the territory the IS captured in 2014.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP
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